Developer wants to donate land to create Kelowna’s second largest park | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Developer wants to donate land to create Kelowna’s second largest park

Land towards the bottom of this Google Earth view of the McKinley Reservoir could become Kelowna's second largest city park.
Image Credit: GOOGLE EARTH
January 19, 2021 - 6:00 AM

Kelowna is being offered almost 100 hectares of land by the developers of McKinley Beach. If approved, it would become the City’s second largest park.

The land is on the north side of McKinely Reservoir and across the road from the 102-hectare Stephens Coyote Ridge Regional Park.

“It’s definitely a very big positive for us as far as continuation is concerned,” City planner Dean Strachan told iNFOnews.ca. “We’ve got the regional park that’s just across McKinely, so this will be a continuation of parks and trails that would go right through to the other side of McKinely Road and carry up to the ridge top.”

While it looks good on paper, Strachan noted that it still has to be reviewed by staff to see if there are any concerns with the proposal before it’s forwarded to city council to be rezoned.

The lands marked in yellow on the left side of this drawing could become City of Kelowna parkland if council approves an offer from a developer. The other yellow parcels will likely be protected but won't necessarily become parks.
The lands marked in yellow on the left side of this drawing could become City of Kelowna parkland if council approves an offer from a developer. The other yellow parcels will likely be protected but won't necessarily become parks.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kelowna

The McKinley Beach lands stretch from Okanagan Lake towards Glenmore Road. A special zone was adopted for the lands in 2014 that limit it to a maximum of 1,300 housing units with some retail.

About 500 units have been built near the lake, Strachan said. There are 20 multifamily properties in the Hilltown section of the project but only three structures have been built or are under construction so far.

The application is to also rezone lands to the east of Hilltown so housing can be built in that area as well although the owners, Kinnikinnik Developments Inc. and McKinely NA LP, still can’t build more than 1,300 homes.

Stachan said the proposed parkland was originally going to be a golf course.

A letter accompanying the rezoning application suggests the land, some of it fairly flat, be kept in its natural state with some trails built through it. It suggests that the first $1 million in fees the City collects on the project for parks development be used on this park. 

Strachan said it’s not yet a designated park, adding the City can spend those fees on whichever park project it chooses.

Knox Mountain Park is currently the largest park in Kelowna at 310 h, while City Park is 13.2 h.


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