KELOWNA - The Mission Group has been given the unanimous green light from council to move forward with plans to build a high-rise, lakeside community resort.
Up for discussion at Tuesday night’s public hearing was the rezoning of land where the proposed Aqua Resort would go to allow for the development height.
“The rezoning of the land is right,” councillor Charlie Hodge said. “We’ll deal with the form and character of the building at a later date.”
However, most of the concerns surrounded the lack of parking and infrastructure in the area, as well as the height of the proposed buildings.
The 350-unit Aqua Resort would consist of four buildings: a four-storey boat storage building and three residential towers, ranging from 13 to 19 storeys in height.
“It’s too big, this is too big on this piece of property,” local resident Adrienne Skinner said at the hearing. “I understand that this property will be developed at some point, but the density that is proposed is just too big of a leap.”
The proposed development is for Lakeshore Drive at 550 Truswell Rd. and the 3800 block of Capozzi Road.
Amongst concerns regarding traffic and parking in the area, other raised the environmental impact the development would have.
“This is short sighted and doesn’t deal with issues the community will face in the future,” environmental consultant Lloyd Manchester said. “We can’t protect our children and citizens unless we know what impacts this will have.”
However what the final development will look like, still has to be discussed. The next step for the Mission Group will be to submit a development plan to council. Only then will the height of the towers, as well as the form and character of the building, be decided.
“This has been an ongoing project for the past 10 years,” said Luke Turri, development manager at The Mission Group who is the developer behind the project. “We don’t take the privilege of developing this land lightly, it’s our most important project we’ve ever worked on.”
Council did agree that traffic and parking in the area needs to be addressed.
“We have a problem and it’s probably going to get worse - it’s clear we have to do something about it,” said Coun. Hodge. “But it hasn’t stopped us from approving development.”
Prior to the public hearing, city staff received 19 letters of concern, one letter of no opinion and 13 letters in favour of the development.
The majority of the letters of concern were from residents who live near the proposed site but the letters showing support mostly came from people living in other areas of Kelowna, there was even one letter of support from a resident from Saskatchewan, councillors heard.
For more stories on the Aqua Resort development click here.
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