Posted on: January 19, 2017

West Kelowna is Booming


January 19, 2017

West Kelowna’s Development Services Department administered a record-breaking number of single family home building permits in 2016, with a total construction value of $116.3 million and all signs are pointing to an even better year in 2017.

“We knew during the year that 2016 was going to far exceed any previous years by the number of applications and the quality of the projects we were seeing,” says Nancy Henderson, General Manager of Development Services. “To say we were extremely busy in 2016 is putting it mildly, and so far in 2017 we are not seeing any signs of a slowdown; in fact, I would say we may be looking at another record breaking year based on the interest we are seeing for larger scale multiple family projects, something we haven't seen a lot of since 2008.”

In 2016 the City issued 649 building permits, compared to 507 in 2015, involving 174 single family dwellings and 17 multi-family dwellings with a total of 90 units. In 2015, 82 single family homes received permits and 13 multi-family dwellings with a total of 50 units. With new carriage house regulations now in place, the City permitted seven carriage homes in 2016.

Already in 2017, the City is administering a number of large-scale projects involving multi-family dwellings, says Henderson, which West Kelowna hasn’t seen since 2008. To help handle the increased workload, the City implemented an application software system in 2016 that has assisted with streamlining the management of applications. The City will be launching a public portal to this software in the coming months which will allow both applicants and the public to access information and monitor the status of development applications.

Increased construction in the community results in increased application fee and Development Cost Charge (DCC) revenues. DCCs are fees paid by development to fund infrastructure improvements that are associated with growth.

Recently released BC Population Statistics indicate that West Kelowna’s population growth continues, with a 2.7% increase over 2015. West Kelowna leads the Central Okanagan in (the rate of) population growth and is estimated now to have a population of 34,930.

“We have been anticipating an upswing as we watched the BC economy improve and grow over the last few years and, judging from our growing population, we believe we will see continued development in not only residential development but also in the commercial and industrial sectors as well.” says Henderson. “The City has numerous rezoning and subdivision applications underway that will ensure a supply of a variety of housing types to support our community’s growth.

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