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Kelowna council to reconsider Casorso plan

Several concerns sends area redevelopment plan back to staff
Kelowna council in chambers. (Gary Barnes/Capital News)

The area redevelopment plan (ARP) for Casorso Road is on hold after council sent it back to staff for more work.

There were concerns over terms of reference in the plan, that all landowners were properly consulted, and its connection to the Pandosy Urban Centre Plan (PUCP).

Kerkhoff: Develop-Build purchased the Central Mobile Home Park at 3535 Casorso Road two years ago and wants to redevelop a stretch of properties east of Casorso and south to Barrera Road. The company owns approximately 75 per cent of the 30 acres in the plan boundary.

The remaining lands, north of the Kerkhoff property and fronting Lanfranco Road, are held by other owners.

READ MORE: Kelowna’s Kerkhoff ready to start redevelopment plan for Mission neighbourhood

Coun. Loyal Wooldridge said his concern is building trust and transparency with the community.

“I don’t think council is writing this plan off completely, but we’ve heard loud and clear from the community that there are areas that aren’t fully baked.”

Council received a letter from one property owner, who was out of town when the ARP was submitted, noting they had met with Kerkhoff to discuss submitting a joint application after March 6.

“So I think it’s disrespectful…all he’s asking is if we can defer this until they can get together,” said Coun. Ron Cannan, who made a motion to defer the application which was approved by council.

Staff was reluctant to defer as the PUCP could be done in conjunction with the Casorso plan with the assistance of a $135,000 fee from the developer to cover planning costs.

“This is, in terms of budget expenditure, more efficient and certainly saves the taxpayer money,” said Ryan Smith, director of planning and development services. “This is the same way we are doing the North End Plan and Tolko redevelopment plan.”

READ MORE: City of Kelowna asks for amenity assessment for North End

Coun. Luke Stack said he would like to see the terms of reference for the PUCP.

“We’re being asked to approve this term of reference without having any term of reference on a related plan that’s key to this puzzle so to speak.”

One of the items not clearly defined in the Casorso plan, according to Stack, is that affordable housing on the site must be replaced at a one-to-one ratio and that current residents have the first right of refusal to move back onto the property after redevelopment.

“I think it should be bold, underlined, and starred,” he added.

The developer will also have to offer a buyout to current homeowners based on the provincial mobile home act.

The Casorso ARP is to consider several areas including parks and recreation, transportation, utility services, environmental and land use considerations, alignment with other plans and strategies, as well as tenant relocation plans.

Approximately 140 homes would be affected. It’s unclear when the plan may come back to council.


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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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