Parking is already tough to find near Vernon Jubilee Hospital — and a proposed new development could make it even more difficult.
City council has granted a parking and other variances to a Ironclad Developments for a 43 unit rental apartment on 31A Street, site of a major fire that consumed a 30 unit apartment in 2011.
Proposed new rental apartment building at 1803 31A Street near Vernon Jubilee Hospital
Council is allowing 20 fewer on-site parking spaces than normal (54 instead of 74), partly due to a car share program the developer will be offering residents to minimize the need for families to have a second vehicle.
“Car share can reduce demand by 5 to 13 parking stalls,” said the Winnipeg company’s rep, Pascal Toupin-Selinger. “It’s also walking distance to many amenities like the hospital.”
Toupin-Selinger says the 12 million dollar development will cater to young families with a majority of two to three bedroom units.
“Young families have no places to rent in the Okanagan , especially couples with children.”
He says the development could also be popular for hospital staff, looking to rent units close to where they work.
Councillor Scott Anderson led the opposition, noting that area is already swamped with cars trying to park, and this will only make it worse.
“I see a huge problem with the parking. I don’t know many young families who don’t have a car. It might happen in bigger cities, but not here. You’re creating more problems with parking,” said Anderson.
Councillor Brian Quiring disagreed, saying people are not as dependent on their cars anymore, and more residents enjoy walking to get around.
“You can’t under estimate the value of the car share program. That is a huge bonus to the development. It’s going to be enough. I’m convinced of that,” said Quiring.
Councillor Juliette Cunningham agreed with Quiring, adding it will provide more much needed rental housing.
“I can’t say no because there is too many positives,” said Cunningham.
Mahor Akbal Mund says it also came down to the parking for him.
I don’t think its going to be that major of an issue,” said Mund as council passed the variances by a 5-2 margin (the others were for setbacks and landscape buffers), with Anderson and Bob Spiers opposed.