The chair of the Urban Development Institute Pacific Region has both praise and caution concerning future building developments in Kelowna.
Jon Stovell says he believes the creation of the UBC Okanagan towers downtown will be transformative, along with other planned large-scale developments. He adds while it will become harder to spread out into the valley in terms of single-family home neighbourhoods, it will reflect density back into Kelowna proper.
Stovell says he expects the city will have a good run with that but does see a “snake in the grass.”
“We certainly see it in Victoria and Vancouver where you get growth fatigue, and you get ‘well, I already have my condo so I don’t want any more condos.’”
Stovell adds he doesn’t believe Kelowna is at that point yet, and there are opportunities to have more developments built before communities, and potentially future city councils, start to push back. He also says city planning departments sometimes get in their own way.
“Municipal bureaucrats seem to have this fear that if something they thought of succeeds it must be a mistake,” he says. “ If something that they cleverly thought of in conjunction with industry goes on a tear, they shut it down way too soon, and way before it has the desired effect.”