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Downtown Kelowna alley an 'untapped resource'

The alleyway off Bernard Avenue is under consideration for development as an urban park.
Image Credit: Google Streetview
November 24, 2015 - 11:43 AM

KELOWNA - Currently home to illegally parked cars and overflowing garbage cans, a stretch of downtown alleyway could soon be delighting locals and visitors alike if plans to beautify it get council approval.

Councillors gushed over a staff proposal aiming to beautify a chunk of the lane off Bernard Avenue across from The Sails with a permanent urban park.

“It’s been a long time since I was young enough to skulk in our downtown alleyways,” Coun. Charlie Hodge said at a council meeting earlier this week. “This is a brilliant idea. Talk about revitalizing our community and creating life downtown. I think this is an awesome way to do it. I’m very excited.”

Coun. Ryan Donn said he views laneways as a big 'untapped resource' for public space and the Bernard project in particular as a great place to install public art, set up a busk station or provide cell phone charging stations for tourists.

Coun. Mohini Singh said she loved the project but her and Coun. Gail Given pointed to possible negatives from the project.

“I look forward to this with great excitement, but I would hope this wouldn't become a new location for vagrants to hang out and panhandle. The last thing we want is to put out furniture and attract a less than desireable element,” Given said.

Singh’s worries the alleys connecting the project area would have to be better serviced as well.

“We may have to police the alleys there and be a little more vigilant,” she added.

Real estate services manager John Saufferer told councillors staff would initiate a public place making process, including a public consultation process, before reporting back to council this spring with a fleshed out proposal. The buildings on both sides of the alley are owned by the same person, he added.

To contact a reporter for this story, email John McDonald at jmcdonald@infonews.ca or call 250-808-0143. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015
InfoTel News Ltd

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