Capri-Landmark redevelopment plan barely wins Kelowna council support - InfoNews

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Capri-Landmark redevelopment plan barely wins Kelowna council support

Plans for the redevelopment of the Capri-Landmark area squeaked through Kelowna city council, Monday, April 1, 2019. Pictured is an artist's rendition of the redevelopment.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kelowna
April 01, 2019 - 4:57 PM

KELOWNA - Plans to redevelop the Capri-Landmark area of Kelowna came down to Coun. Brad Sieben to save or kill today. In the end, he saved the plan.

The Capri-Landmark plan has gone to city council at least four times. Initially it called for $100 million for roads and parks. While that number has been brought down to $91 million with about two-thirds of that cost to be paid by developers, the fact that the original plan called for about $35 for park acquisition and development did not sit well with Sieben at city council's meeting today, April 1.

He asked staff to clarify various park cost estimates over the life of the plan.

Failing to get what he wanted, he announced that he would join three other councillors -  who opposed staff’s call to realign Sutherland Avenue - in voting against what was supposed to be the final version of the plan.

“I can’t support this right now because of the parks component,” Sieben told council. “I need some clarity on that and I haven’t been able to get clarity.”

After further debate, Mayor Colin Basran rose to the challenge and called for the vote to be deferred until the end of the meeting so staff could get the information Sieben needed in order to support the plan.

It was enough to get him to change his mind and vote yes.

With Coun. Mohini Singh absent, Sieben could have forced a tie vote and the motion to pass the plan would have failed.

“Every single one of us is anchored where we started,” an emotional Coun. Gail Given lamented. “If it doesn’t pass now, we have to put it to bed and leave it for a future council.”

Councillors Luke Stack, Maxine DeHart and Charlie Hodge opposed the realignment of Sutherland Avenue to connect with Spall Road and worried about the impact on small, affordable businesses. They all voted no so the final vote was 5-3.

Sieben’s concern was that $35 million was really too much for a small park in this area.

Staff explained that the original plan was for parks being 72 per cent of the city standard. They were able to move some of the areas for parks around and cut to less than 50 per cent of the city’s standard in order to bring the cost down to $29 million, with $11 million needed just to buy one three-acre parcel of land, which is expected to cost about $11 million.

“I don’t believe that acquiring a three-acre park in this area makes financial sense,” Sieben said. “I will support this going forward. I don’t think $11 million is worth it, but I will fight that in a budget down the road.”

The plan calls for about 8,000 new residents to move into the area in the next 20 years. Capri-Landmark is bounded by Gordon, Spall, Harvey and Springfield.

Councillors were fully supportive of a redeveloped Capri Shopping Centre but bogged down over discussions about the area along Sutherland through the Landmark business park.

Since the plan is expected to take at least 20 years, the shift in Sutherland to the east will not happen until there has been major redevelopment.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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