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City of Penticton facing legal action over proposed lakefront apartment building

The proposed apartment building at 602 Lakeshore Dr. W. would feature eight units. A one-storey home currently occupies the property. Google Maps

A legal challenge has been launched against the City of Penticton regarding a controversial and yet-to-be-built apartment building that would overlook Okanagan Lake.

This week, a group called the Penticton Society for Transparent Governance and Responsible Development (PSTGRD) filed the challenge in B.C. Supreme Court, stating the city shouldn’t have allowed the four-storey building on what it called an undersized lot.

According to the city, the apartment building at 602 Lakeshore Dr. W. would feature eight units. A one-storey home currently occupies the property.

Read more: Penticton council gives green light to controversial Lakeshore redevelopment

B.C. Assessment lists the home value at $1.66 million and included a sale history that says it was sold for $2.1 million on March 10, 2021.

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In mid-January, Penticton city council gave the green light to re-develop the property despite concerns from area residents.

The motion was narrowly passed, 4-3. Mayor John Vassilaki, who voted in favour of it, called the Lakeshore area “a neighbourhood in transition.”

In presenting the apartment building to city council, the applicant asked the property to be rezoned from small-lot residential (RM2) to medium density multiple housing (RM3).

Council approved recommendations, along with granting two variances, giving the project the go-ahead.

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Penticton council gives green light to controversial Lakeshore redevelopment – Jan 19, 2022

PSTGRD says the property size is too small for the proposed apartment building in its court challenge. It says RM3 requires a minimum lot width of 25 metres, but the lot is only 19 metres — 27 per cent less than the RM3 minimum.

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It also says the lot doesn’t meet the minimum square footage rule. The lot is sized at 11,975 square feet (1,112.5 square metres), though RM3 requires a minimum area of 15,069.5 square feet (1,400 square metres).

In its petition to the court, the society says “the property ill-suited for RM3 is further reflected by the fact that variances had to be granted in order to make the proposed apartment development fit on this under-sized property.”

Notably, the court document says the society was incorporated on March 30, a week before the court documents were filed on April 5 in Kelowna.

The City of Penticton had no comment on Friday, adding that it hadn’t been served with the petition.

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