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‘Monster building’ too much for Kelowna residents

The rental apartment project is planned for Wilkinson and Springfield
A Stillingfleet Road resident shows council a not to scale model indicating how a proposed apartment rental building would look at the corner of Wilkinson Street and Springfield Road. (City of Kelowna video)

A 7.5-hour public hearing on June 13 ended with discussion about a proposed rental apartment development dubbed the ‘Great Wall of Wilkinson’ by one area resident.

More than two dozen neighbours gave council a comprehensive presentation on the project planned for the corner of Wilkinson Street and Springfield Road.

While many said they were not against the project, they did feel the density was too high, and the building too big. One resident showed council a not to scale model of the building indicating how it would look in the neighbourhood. The applicant intends to construct a four-storey building and has reduced the height and number of units.

It was suggested by another speaker that fourplexes be built instead. The applicant said they had modelled the site with five four-plexes and 30 to 35 townhomes. Neighbours also had concerns over pedestrian safety, increased traffic congestion, and lack of parking.

A Rutland resident who spoke in favour of the development said it would provide affordable housing units, and noted that “accepting progress and embracing change” works for the betterment of all of Kelowna.

Usually, after a public hearing council would make a decision on whether to move a project forward. However, as the clock was approaching midnight, council voted to make its decision on the Wilkinson development at a future Monday afternoon regular meeting.

“You get a little rubbery after that point in time,” said Mayor Tom Dyas. “I want this decision to be made right.”

Since the applicant and the public have spoken on the project, additional information to council will only come from staff.

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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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