One in every of Kelowna’s richest males taking metropolis, developer to court docket – Kelowna Information
Kelowna geologist Charles Fipke is taking legal action against the City of Kelowna and Aqua Resorts to stop the contentious waterfront project from being built in its current form.
Fipke, who amassed a fortune after his company discovered diamonds in the Northwest Territories in the early 1990s, filed suit in BC Supreme Court in Vancouver.
The project, which will include towers of 13, 15 and 17 storeys, is set to be built next to his home on Capozzi Road in the Lower Mission, just south of the Hotel Eldorado.
In court documents obtained by Castanet, Fipke is asking the court to quash development and development variance permits approved by city council on June 22, and provide an order restraining Aqua Resorts from developing the lands in accordance with those permits.
The lawsuit contends the floor area ratio (FAR), a planning measurement of the building’s floor area relative to the size of the lot, is far greater than allowed in the city’s bylaws.
According to the lawsuit, FAR is calculated by dividing the gross floor area of a project by the total buildable area of land in which it is situated.
However, some communities use different measurements to determine their floor area ratios.
The City of Kelowna takes the gross square footage of a particular lot prior to buildout, and multiplies that by a specific number depending on zoning. That can include portions of the property not suitable for construction, or land which could during construction be utilized as a roadway or sidewalk.
The final number is the net floor area which can be built out. Net available floor space does not include hallways, storage areas, parkades or common areas such as lobbies or laundry rooms.
The permit applications approved by city council stated a FAR of 1.5, which is allowed for under the tourist-commercial zone, however, court documents said those were not accurate and, “using the correct lot size of property, the project’s FAR is closer to 2.0.”
The suit further contends the size of the lot used in the calculations apparently used land “which is not part of the lots, being land beyond the shorelines of Lake Okanagan that is, in any event, not buildable land, nor is it within the zone that permits an FAR of 1.5.”
Fipke’s suit concludes, “the permits in question authorize a development which is prohibited by the statutory scheme in place. The decision to approve them was thus unreasonable.
“The permits should be quashed.”
Some residents of the neighbourhood have been vocal opponents to the Aqua project, voicing concerns about the density, size of the towers, traffic and parking.
In a statement to Castanet, executive vice president of the Mission Group Luke Turri said they understand new home development projects can have impacts on neighbouring properties.
“It is always our practice, as good community partners and citizens, to work very closely with local regulatory bodies in the planning and development of our new communities.”
“Mission Group has completed all necessary due diligence on Aqua Waterfront Village and the project has been approved by the appropriate regulatory bodies in order to move forward.”