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'Uncomfortable going to 40': Kelowna council concerns over Burtch/Harvey plan

Council favourable, but concerns raised about redevelopment plan

A 40-storey building could be towering over Harvey Avenue as part of a proposed development next to Parkinson Recreation Centre (PRC).

The project is included in the draft Burtch/Harvey Ave. Redevelopment Plan was presented to council on July 8.

While council was mostly favourable to the development, there were several concerns.

Across the street is the tallest building in the area, Landmark 7 at 26 storeys, which is the maximum height permitted in the Capri Centre/Landmark Urban Centre.

Staff told council the developer is seeking 40 storeys under bonus height options. They include contributions to the city’s public amenity and streetscape, or housing opportunities reserve funds.

“I’m uncomfortable going to 40,” said Councillor Gord Lovegrove.

Coun. Charlie Hodge also had an issue with the height and had a pointed message for the developer.

“You have the opportunity here, on an iconic piece of land, to do an eye-opener, world-class development,” he said.

Coun. Luke Stack urged that the project have sufficient amenities.

“Whether that’s opportunities for childcare onsite, open space, or connectivity - all the things that make a complete community.” 

He also warned about potential parking reduction requests from the developer. “There’s no room for a mistake. You’re surrounded by Burtch….Highway 97 and our city park. Whatever the parking plan is, it better be good.”

A traffic impact analysis is being done by the developer.

Stall told council there are plans for Burtch Rd., including additional lanes, an Active Transportation Corridor, and bus pullouts as part of the new PRC. Bernard Avenue has also been identified for improvements in the city’s Transportation Master Plan.

The number of buildings and the lack of green space were brought up several times.

“It’s too much concrete on that piece of land,” Coun. Mohini Singh said. “I don’t want to be rude but they’re trying to use every little inch of that lot to build on.” 

She added that's not good for the environment or livability.

The project proposes between 1,600 and 1,700 residential units, approximately 2,000 square metres of office space and 3,000 sq. m of commercial/retail space.

It’s expected to provide market rental, below-market rental and other housing options.

The plan will come back to council at a future date for further consideration.

 



Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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