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Increased density, traffic worries opponents of proposed housing development in Penticton

A developer is proposing to build 71 strata townhouse units and 148 purpose-built rental units on an industrial property across from the Penticton campus of Okanagan College.
A developer is proposing to build 71 strata townhouse units and 148 purpose-built rental units on an industrial property across from the Penticton campus of Okanagan College. Submitted

A neighbourhood group has come out opposed to large housing development proposed on Timmins Street in Penticton, B.C., citing concerns about increased density.

The group, called the Friends of Timmins Street, has launched an online petition and a website against the rezoning of 955 Timmins St. to allow for a multi-family residential development across from the campus of Okanagan College.

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The unnamed opponents claim the proposed development is approximately seven times denser than the surrounding neighbourhood, incompatible with the existing character of the area, and will dramatically increase traffic congestion.

The proposed sit layout for a large multi-family residential development across from Okanagan College in Penticton, B.C. Penticton city council agenda

“Allowing an incompatible development such as this one into one neighbourhood sets a dangerous precedent for neighbourhoods throughout the city,” the website claims.

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Radec Group Inc., on behalf of Ryzak Holdings, is proposing to build 148 apartments and 71 townhouse units on the 6.6-acre parcel of industrial land.

“Penticton’s challenging rental market includes a vacancy rate of less than 1%, putting pressure on post-secondary education facilities as well as local employers,” the proponent said.

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Both Okanagan College and the Okanagan College Students’ Union wrote letters of support in favour of the development.

“Affordable, convenient, secure student-friendly housing in Penticton will provide more opportunities for students to come to our Peach City from all over the valley, the province, the country, and even from the wider world. Not to mention the benefit of keeping more of our local students in town while they study,” the student union wrote.

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All stakeholders will have a chance to speak in favour or against the proposal at a public hearing on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

The City of Penticton said it will withhold comment until the proposal is discussed at the council table.

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