After a two hour public hearing with two dozen speakers, the Timmins housing development was approved by Penticton city council in a 6-1 vote Tuesday night.
The decision to amend the OCP from industrial to urban residential and give second and third reading to rezoning from industrial to medium density for multiple housing came in after 9 p.m. with only councillor James Miller opposed.
The development will bring in 219 units of housing — 71 three bedroom townhouses and two apartment buildings of mix of studios and 1 and 2 bedrooms. There will be rental and strata units.
The Friends of Timmins Street group along with residents of the Cherryland neighbourhood made impassioned pleas to council to turn down the proposal as presented for various reasons including traffic concerns and how the modern housing doesn’t fit the character of the neighbourhood.
Others lamented that developing Timmins is a loss of industrial land, something Penticton has little of.
But that argument was countered by others who said if there is no housing for workers who will work in these industrial lands.
The acting Dean of Okanagan College, the college librarian and counsellor spoke in favour of the housing.
For the librarian, she bikes to work through the neighbourhood each day and welcomed a new neighbourhood in the area.
The counsellor at OK College said they are constantly hard pressed to find any housing for their international students. This new housing would increase the amount of international students coming to the Penticton campus.
Chamber of comnerve members and directors also spoke in favour of the project, saying that the staffing shortage crisis facing Penticton has a direct correlation to the lack of affordable housing.
One businesswoman said she has lost three employees who couldn’t find housing.
The developer Radec Group Inc., on behalf of Ryzak Holdings, was also at the public hearing to address concerns laid out by the neighbours of 955 Timmins which is a 6.6 acre parcel of underutilized industrial land.
To address previously raised concerns, Radec Group is spending $110,000 on traffic calming measures at Moosejaw and Scott Ave and paying for a pedestrian flashing lights at Eckhardt Ave. E. The Development Cost Charges for the project will bring in $1.46 million to the city.
To report a typo, email: firstname.lastname@example.org.