Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby Mrmarvingardens » Feb 10th, 2021, 12:09 pm

So you think Kelowna Council makes the decisions on development in the city?
Guess again.
Last week, the city planning department, AFTER hearing of the planned 43 and 46 storey buildings, planning staff decided tall buildings are ok but they must be slimmer.
NOT SO FAST says Ryan Smith, the Planning Director.
He announced the proposal is not to go before council quite yet.
"We have to consult with our stakeholders first and get their input"
Think this confirms what most people already knew.
The tail wags the dog as the expression goes! :200:

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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby casey60 » Feb 10th, 2021, 12:41 pm

Have not figured out that developer make the decisions? Council just rubber stamps. Stamps must be wearing out.

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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby TylerM4 » Feb 10th, 2021, 1:14 pm

Same process for all municipalities. People put too much blame on councilors who do little more than "approve" whether it's approving the development itself, or approving variances to development rules.

Frankly - 95% of the decisions/approvals are made by city staff, not the councilors.

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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby cv23 » Feb 10th, 2021, 1:20 pm

95% of the decisions/approvals are made by city staff, not the councilors.

Yet there doesn't seem to be even one official record showing any member of City staff, only City Councilors, ever casting votes on officially approving or denying of development permits or variances in Kelowna ?????????

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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby Mrmarvingardens » Feb 10th, 2021, 1:35 pm

Which reminds me of a saying that circulated around the city a while back.
"Council only knows what we are prepared to tell them"......city staff.
Why I agree that members of councils can't know everything, it is disturbing to hear them make decisions without asking important questions, or refer proposals back to staff for clarification.
The development community build illegal structures without penalty, request and receive variances to projects that border on the ridiculous with no pushback.
At present, we have terrible cheaply designed buildings, helped in part by the disbanding of the design committee that advised council and staff, of course after complaints from developers.
The mayor has private meetings with developers, again no pushback.
Many governments, at all levels are using the public preoccupation of Covid to make controversial decisions, that unfortunately go unnoticed.
Kelowna is especially bad in this area because elected official decisions more often are never reported.
(With 6 radio stations and 1 t.v. station, not one have a reporter at city hall)

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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby TylerM4 » Feb 10th, 2021, 4:31 pm

cv23 wrote:Yet there doesn't seem to be even one official record showing any member of City staff, only City Councilors, ever casting votes on officially approving or denying of development permits or variances in Kelowna ?????????


Yup. That's the process. Most employees don't vote on regular business maters in any business.
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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby Scrobins94 » Feb 10th, 2021, 6:19 pm

Mrmarvingardens wrote:So you think Kelowna Council makes the decisions on development in the city?
Guess again.
Last week, the city planning department, AFTER hearing of the planned 43 and 46 storey buildings, planning staff decided tall buildings are ok but they must be slimmer.
NOT SO FAST says Ryan Smith, the Planning Director.
He announced the proposal is not to go before council quite yet.
"We have to consult with our stakeholders first and get their input"
Think this confirms what most people already knew.
The tail wags the dog as the expression goes! :200:


Do you mind pointing to the source of information that says Ryan Smith said this?
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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby kgcayenne » Feb 10th, 2021, 7:50 pm

Being rather ‘acquainted’ with the process here, the developers are calling the shots roughly 85% of the time.
"without knowledge, he multiplies mere words."
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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby just_browsing » Feb 11th, 2021, 8:35 am

kgcayenne wrote:Being rather ‘acquainted’ with the process here, the developers are calling the shots roughly 85% of the time.


It doesn't matter. Council has the power to speak for the majority of Kelowna, whom I believe at this point is fed up with the ugly destruction of our city. They can absolutely vote to obtain more information before making permanent decisions.

They are all pro development...end of story.

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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby LANDM » Feb 11th, 2021, 9:01 am

Council is elected so, whatever their bias, it was pretty well known by the electorate.

Staff are hired to do their job and advise council of matters they are trained in. Council's job is not to get into the technical aspects of developments.

Developers are the ones to bring proposals to the city, not the other way around so, of course, they appear to be "calling the shots" when, in fact, they are bringing a proposal to the city that makes sense for their business model, and to be built at a profit. They are simply doing their job by fighting for their proposal. If it’s approved, then people whine that the developer paid someone off or they are holding puppet strings. If it fails, then the developer will whine that the city is not supportive of progress.

The electorate is doing their typical job of whining all the time about staff and council decisions.

Everyone is just doing their job as they should. Don’t see any problem here. :135:

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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby JayByrd » Feb 11th, 2021, 3:08 pm

just_browsing wrote:
kgcayenne wrote:Being rather ‘acquainted’ with the process here, the developers are calling the shots roughly 85% of the time.


It doesn't matter. Council has the power to speak for the majority of Kelowna, whom I believe at this point is fed up with the ugly destruction of our city. They can absolutely vote to obtain more information before making permanent decisions.

They are all pro development...end of story.



The majority of Kelowna is insulated by money. They don't care much about anything that goes on unless it effects them or their business directly. Look how many million dollar homes there are here. Look at all the Porsches and Jaguars driving around. They don't care about towers downtown or variances to the OCP. Why would they?
Finding something on the internet that aligns with your worldview, is not research.

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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby GordonH » Feb 11th, 2021, 3:38 pm

Sometimes I wonder if those who make development decisions in Kelowna actual use magic 8 ball. [icon_lol2.gif]
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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby Gilchy » Feb 11th, 2021, 4:35 pm

JayByrd wrote:
just_browsing wrote:It doesn't matter. Council has the power to speak for the majority of Kelowna, whom I believe at this point is fed up with the ugly destruction of our city. They can absolutely vote to obtain more information before making permanent decisions.

They are all pro development...end of story.



The majority of Kelowna is insulated by money. They don't care much about anything that goes on unless it effects them or their business directly. Look how many million dollar homes there are here. Look at all the Porsches and Jaguars driving around. They don't care about towers downtown or variances to the OCP. Why would they?


Orrrrr, and I know this may be hard for some to understand, some of us like the density and development in the core areas of the city. People have and will continue to move here, and there has to be somewhere to put them. We can either:
A. Continue scraping away the hillsides, selling <.10 Acre lots for $600,000, as there's $400k+ in site prep costs to get the lots suitable to build on. We then need more roads and utilities to bring more people up and down the hillsides.
B. Build up central core areas with less dependence on cars, increase density of services and entertainment.

The Leon proposal is massive, and council voiced their concerns. But the alternative is decline the proposal, and then an area that dramatically needs attention will continue to sit and fester.

The way these conversations go, it seems as if most people believe that council is the one deciding on exterior finishes, architectural design and colours, rather than approving development permits as per zoning, or zoning variances.

Total side rant, but the OCP is a "plan", not a "constitution". It's a broad plan based on information available at the time, and (big giant IMO) shouldn't be iron-clad. The OCP should absolutely be varied where circumstances change.

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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby Scrobins94 » Feb 11th, 2021, 5:24 pm

The OCP is a plan that always gets violated. I don't recall any of towers being sent back to the drawing board. They all seem to be approved seamlessly and effortlessly after a horse and pony show intended to give the peasants a sense that their voice has been heard. [icon_lol2.gif]

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Re: Who makes development decisions in Kelowna

Postby JayByrd » Feb 12th, 2021, 8:52 am

Gilchy wrote:
Orrrrr, and I know this may be hard for some to understand, some of us like the density and development in the core areas of the city. People have and will continue to move here, and there has to be somewhere to put them. We can either:
A. Continue scraping away the hillsides, selling <.10 Acre lots for $600,000, as there's $400k+ in site prep costs to get the lots suitable to build on. We then need more roads and utilities to bring more people up and down the hillsides.
B. Build up central core areas with less dependence on cars, increase density of services and entertainment.



I agree, 100%. I've lived here for 40 years...not as long as some, but longer than many. I watched through the 1990's as Kelowna struggled to remain the quiet resort town it had been in the 70's and 80's. Finally we're moving into the 2000's, and transitioning into a modern small city. It's far from perfect, but you can't put toothpaste back in the tube as they say.
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