January 21, 2014 - 10:42 AM
KELOWNA – The debate over how best to develop seven City-owned lakefront properties on Abbott St. was reignited by Council Monday.
The City purchased the properties north of Cedar Avenue in the Pandosy Village neighbourhood in 1999 and first attempted to reach public consensus for their use in 2011. At that time, Council proposed the lots would be sold for development; however public backlash forced them to abandon the project amid protests from stakeholders.
On Monday, Council voted to take the process, which will include a two-day design workshop at the end of February, to the public once again.
“(This) has been a long-standing goal of the City to bring Pandosy by the lake actually to the lake,” said Derek Edstrom, Director of Real Estate. “The Pandosy waterfront is an underutilized area that is in need of revitalization. We believe there’s an ability to bring a fresh look at this area and also really bring the community in to help move this project forward.”
The latest proposal for the more than 1000 meters of waterfront seeks to see most of the land sold, with the remaining four lots being turned into a park, complete with Paddle Centre.
“During the past year, we have been working with paddling disciplines to create a catalyst of what could be the future paddling centre and we believe this would be a great amenity for this site,” said Edstrom.
Council endorsed a set of eight project guidelines, which include inclusion of a Paddle centre, a condition that will require no tax impact on the city as well as a possible financial return to the city. Plans also must incorporate a park and waterfront walkway.
“The purpose of this engagement process would be to create an understanding and awareness of this project and where it’s at now and to collect community input on the site design,” said Communications Supervisor Jodie Foster-Sexsmith. “To do this we need to have a transparent process so one of the things that we want to do is make sure there is input collected.”
The results of the urban design workshop, called a charrette, will begin within the next two weeks and complete by end of February. It will be limited to 30 members of the public with results being presented to Council in March.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014