An artists rendering of the proposed Chevron gas bar and Triple O’s drive-thru. (Contributed)

Kelowna council green lights new drive-thru despite staff’s climate concerns

Council said the area is largely car-centric and the environmental impact of non-approval would be negligible

Kelowna council gave the green light to a new Triple O’s and Chevron gas bar proposed along Highway 97 and Sexsmith Road during a May 12 public hearing.

Albeit, with a tinge of reluctance, according to the mayor.

City staff recommended non-support on the application in part due to the city’s climate action plan and the GHG emissions caused by idling in drive-thru lanes, but council decided against that recommendation.

The new burger joint was also proposed on industrial land, prompting the need for council to grant a variance to allow for the restaurant and drive-thru at the gas bar.

“While drive-thrus represent a convenient way for many to pick up a meal, it cannot be said that they are a necessity,” read the report by city planner Aaron Thibeault. “Rather, it is a choice, and a choice that comes with a cost.”

While councillors largely agreed that drive-thrus do have an environmental impact, they said the area is largely car-centric and the impact of not approving it would be negligible.

“Do I think we are going to save the planet with this particular application? No,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “Is it another cut? Potentially.”

Coun. Luke Stack said the solution should be to encourage people to reduce their own emissions and not to “outlaw drive-thrus.”

“I go through one every day literally, but I drive an electric vehicle, so I don’t have any emissions,” said Stack.

Much of the concern from residents sent to council — and posted on social media — was surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and how important drive-thrus have become in terms of getting food.

“We don’t build cities based on pandemics,” said Coun. Ryan Donn, the lone councillor against the proposal in the 8-1 vote.

“At some point, we are going to have to say no if we genuinely want to move the dial lower to reduce people using cars.”

The proposal also shows plans for landscaping to minimize the visual impact of the drive-thru — which the applicant described as quite extravagant compared to proposals it has made in other cities — and two electric vehicle charging stations.

READ MORE: Several stores at Kelowna’s Orchard Park Mall expected to reopen after May long weekend

READ MORE: We’re lovin’ it: Kelowna settles lengthy legal battle with McDonalds for over $2M

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@michaelrdrguez
michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lake Country caregivers to receive support, counselling through pilot program

Access to the program can be found at the Lake Country Health Planning Society

Almost half of shops in Vernon mall reopened

Reduced food court capacity, curb-side pickup program en route

Business bustling as Vernon eateries begin to reopen

Browns Socialhouse, The Kal reporting full and respectful crowds at establishments

Enderby’s drive-in not safe from top doc’s 50-car limit

Starlight Drive-In opened with reduced capacity, COVID-19 safety measures in place

COVID-19: Parking lot patios a go in Vernon

Council votes in favour of allowing businesses to expand commercial space into on-street parking spots

Okanagan man rides the rail trail in support of Alzheimer’s

Kelowna to Vernon and back as part of the online Walk for Alzheimer’s May 31

Drug-pricing petition garners thousands of signatures

Petition started by Chilliwack mom also drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

Body of missing woman found in Kelowna

Kelly Joy Zuchotzki was last seen on May 24

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Morning Start: Why is it so dangerous to wake a sleepwalker?

Your morning start for Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Reports of early morning gunshots rattle downtown Penticton

Three to four gunshot like sounds were reported by residents

Most Read