Kelowna council being asked to approve $96 million development plan put on hold last fall | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna News

Kelowna council being asked to approve $96 million development plan put on hold last fall

A rendering of the proposed Capri-Landmark redevelopment is pictured in this image submitted by the City of Kelowna.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/City of Kelowna

KELOWNA - After months of delay and review, Kelowna city staff are sticking to their plan to join Sutherland Avenue with Spall Road.

Adoption of the Capri-Landmark development plan was put on hold on Sept. 17, 2018 after business owners objected and councillors argued the re-alignment of Sutherland was too expensive and unnecessary.

The plan calls for 8,000 new residents over the next 20 years with roads and parks costing $96 million.

A staff report going to Kelowna city council on Monday, Feb. 11, says it makes economic and practical sense to stick to the existing plan.

Staff looked at four options for roads in the area bounded by Gordon Road, Spall Road, Harvey Avenue and Sutherland Avenue. The main concern is the land between Burtch Road and Spall Road.

One option was to keep it as is.

“Because Landmark was not envisioned as an urban centre until recently, the area’s transportation infrastructure is not set up to accommodate high-density office and residential development,” the report by Ross Soward, the city's Planning Specialist states. “The street network currently has high levels of congestion as thousands of commuters leave the Landmark office towers at the same time each afternoon.

"Also, the road layout (road widths, turning radius, and intersection design etc.) makes it challenging to bring transit service into the Landmark District, reducing the competitiveness of transit in the area. The lack of sidewalks and bicycle routes make it inconvenient and dangerous for people looking to travel to the area without a vehicle.”

The hope is that, some day, there can be a connection to Orchard Plaza via Kent Road so a major east-west road is considered by staff to be vital.

The three road options are via Sutherland, Ritchie or Dickson Roads with Sutherland being ranked highest both in terms of cost effectiveness and cycling, transit and vehicle access.

The area between Burtch and Spall was originally envisioned to be a low density commercial/industrial area but the Landmark towers have put about 3,500 office workers into an area under a land use contract that did not put the proper road system in place, the report states.

A seventh Landmark tower, the tallest yet at 23 stories, has been proposed. That will bring more workers and congestion to the area.

Now, with that high density of workers and proximity to Parkinson Recreation Centre, it’s ideally suited to become a “successful live-work district," the report states.

Soward recommends that the re-alignment of Sutherland be done over 20 years and in phases as properties are redeveloped.

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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