Project to of­fer mix of hous­ing

Pen­tic­ton OKs land ex­change to al­low 33-unit sub­di­vi­sion

Penticton Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Spe­cial to The Okana­gan Week­end By KEITH LACEY

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Pen­tic­ton city coun­cil ap­proved a unique land swap deal this week that will al­low a 33-unit sub­di­vi­sion to be built at 157 Ab­bott St., on the east side of down­town.

“The land ex­change be­ing pro­posed is not a con­ven­tional pro­posal,” di­rec­tor of devel­op­ment ser­vices An­thony Had­dad told coun­cil.

The sub­ject prop­er­ties are sur­rounded by an ex­ist­ing apart­ment build­ing to the north, the West­min­ster elec­tri­cal sub­sta­tion to the east, and a mix of sin­gle-fam­ily and du­plex homes to the south and west, said Had­dad.

The site was orig­i­nally 12 parcels of land, and a laneway that was closed in 2006 runs through the pro­posed devel­op­ment zone. The laneway was sold to the de­vel­oper for $130,000.

The orig­i­nal de­vel­oper planned a multi-storey res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment on the site back in 2007, but a new de­vel­oper has much-dif­fer­ent plans, said Had­dad.

“They’re now look­ing to re­turn the lands back to smaller parcels in order to al­low for three res­i­den­tial units on each par­cel of land, pro­vid­ing for a unique hous­ing op­tion in our com­mu­nity,” he said.

The devel­op­ment would in­clude a mix­ture of sin­gle-de­tached homes, du­plexes and car­riage or se­condary houses with three units on 11 lots, for a to­tal of 33 res­i­dences.

“This devel­op­ment will be the first of its kind in Pen­tic­ton, whereby each sin­gle-fam­ily or a smaller par­cel of land will be per­mit­ted to form three dif­fer­ent kinds of res­i­den­tial dwelling units,” said Had­dad.

The de­vel­oper will be pro­vid­ing a res­i­den­tial area of­fer­ing dif­fer­ent kinds of af­ford­able hous­ing op­tions in a com­pact down­town neigh­bour­hood, he said.

Hav­ing the city al­low lane ac­cess will pro­vide an­gle park­ing at the rear of each res­i­den­tial unit.

The de­vel­oper has pro­posed a “land ex­change” that will see the city take own­er­ship of the laneway, while the owner will pay for all un­der­ground elec­tri­cal and prop­erty frontage up­grades, as well as 17 pub­lic-ac­cess park­ing spots in the area.

The laneway be­ing re­turned to the city is just over 4,000 square feet. With a value of $36 per square foot based on the re­cent sale price for these lands, that would put the value of the land at $150,000, said Had­dad.

The value of the land the city would hand over to the de­vel­oper along the boule­vard area would be just over $152,000, he said.

Coun. Camp­bell Watt praised devel­op­ment staff for be­ing “in­cred­i­bly cre­ative” with the pro­posal.

“This looks very much to me like a win-win,” he said.

Mayor John Vas­si­laki strongly sup­ported to deal too.

“I’ve been look­ing for mat­ters like this to come be­fore the coun­cil for many, many years, and I’m re­ally happy that not only the pro­po­nent, but also our city staff (work) to think out­side the box and come up with so­lu­tions,” he said.

“The other im­por­tant thing is we are get­ting a va­ri­ety of hous­ing here. It’s not just one type of hous­ing, but there’s three dif­fer­ent types of hous­ing per build­ing in here.”

Con­struc­tion is ex­pected to be­gin within the next sev­eral months.

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