It’s another kick at the can for rezoning of commercial units in the final phase of Landmark Heights on McGill Road.
McGill Redevelopment Corporation, under Kelowna developer Mike Culos, has applied to rezone Landmark Place, located at 765 McGill Rd., to allow two commercial units — 102 and 103 — to be converted into residential space.
Council has unanimously supported sending the rezoning to a public hearing, which will be held on June 25. Coun. Arjun Singh recused himself from voting, declaring a conflict.
Last year, the previous city council rejected a similar request, but for five units.
Culos told KTW he hopes to put to bed concerns heard during last year’s public hearing. The lone business owner to buy in Landmark Place, Jonni and Darrel Yeomans of Jonni’s Styling Studio, had urged council to deny rezoning after purchasing unit 101.
The couple said at the time they invested their life savings into the business. They share an entrance with unit 102 and were concerned about being the only commercial property in the building and about lack of public access negatively impacting walk-in traffic.
Reached by KTW on Wednesday, Yeomans was surprised to hear the issue had resurfaced. She said Culos had been issued a stop-work order for pre-emptively converting the commercial units into residential suites.
The city noted it issued a stop-work order on April 6, instructing the developer to submit building permit applications to finish the units as commercial. Culos stopped the work and is trying again to rezone.
“It was a little premature,” Culos told KTW.
Culos said that should the property be rezoned, the elevator in Landmark Place would be secured to open the lobby for Jonni’s during business hours. Others residents in the development attended the public hearing last year to complain about parking. Tied to this rezoning is a revised parking covenant intended to address deficiency next door at Landmark One and Landmark Two.
While Culos tries to find a compromise, it is not the first time he has charged ahead without appropriate permits. The developer also came under fire for pre-emptively cutting down three trees on two plots of land on either side of the CN Station downtown, violating a bylaw protecting the city’s tree canopy.
The tree-cutting — and erection of a fence to keep out the public — came after council denied vehicular access into the CN Station plaza for townhouses Culos wanted to build on the two plots.
Culos defended that decision and maintained to KTW: “It’s not our style to be jumping the gun.”
He purchased the historic CN Station in a complex land swap deal with the city. He said he is now selling it all for $2.5 million. He also hinted at plans for the CN Station, but said it is contingent on development on the two adjacent plots of land.