June 24, 2014 - 12:33 PM
KELOWNA – Councillors can’t reach consensus with the public as to what to do with a dozen lots along the Pandosy waterfront so they’ve decided to do very little, at least until they can come up with around $3 million.
The city first attempted to reach public consensus for the use of 12 properties in Pandosy Village 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.
Earlier this year council decided to try again with a public workshop aimed at coming up with a design everybody could live with. Council endorsed a set of project guidelines requiring inclusion of a private paddle centre, that the project pay for itself as well as a possible financial return to the city. Plans were also to include a park and waterfront walkway.
Upon completion of the workshop and associated cost analysis, staff recommended the less expensive Option 4 be adopted but city manager Graham Hood says feedback from the public indicated a preference for Option 1.
Although Option 4 features roughly 5,700 square metres of park and a potential profit of more than $400,000 for the city, Option 1 includes a larger park but would cost taxpayers up to $4 million. Both include a private paddle centre somewhere within the park, a condition council does not seem willing to budge on.
Staff were asked to return with an updated option with those concerns in mind and a modified version of Option 1 was presented to council Monday. Refined Option 1 now includes the sale of Walnut St. between five city-owned properties at the south end of the development and leave the road alignment in its current configuration.
The paddle centre is still a key feature of the park, but Hood says nothing can be done until the money is set aside in the 2020 Capital Plan.
“Construction of this park and the future Abbott Street Corridor are not identified priorities in the current capital plan,” Hood says. “Multiple community and neighbourhood parks are identified for future development (and) in order to prioritize the development of this park in the capital plan other community projects must be removed. Staff do not recommend the prioritization of this park development.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014