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Kelowna News

No major council objections so far for downtown towers proposal

1187 Sunset Drive has been vacant for many years, but that could change significantly.
Image Credit: SUBMITTED/Google Earth

KELOWNA - The property colloquially known as ‘Dirt Hill’ could soon become home to Kelowna’s tallest towers.

Council approved the rezoning of the current property at 1187 Sunset Dr. to go to public hearing, at Monday afternoon’s council meeting.

“I’m very supportive of this,” Coun. Luke Stack said. “We’ve been waiting for many years for this street to develop and reach its’ potential.”

The development, being marketed as ‘One Water Street’, proposes 399 residential units, with six live-and-work units to go along Ellis Street.

Although today's business only surrounded rezoning, the hot topic among councillors was the height of the two proposed buildings.

The north tower is proposed at 29 storeys, while the south tower is proposed at 36. As the C7 zoning only allows for 26 storeys, both would need a height variance.

On behalf of the developer, City staff mentioned the height of the buildings is to allow for parking and amenity space, such as sports courts, both an adult and children’s pool, as well as a dog park.

“From where it is located in our downtown core, and how it will fit in with the other towers I’m not too phased with the height,” said Stack. “View corridors are very important, as well as the interface with the street is critical.”

The ground level of the project is proposed to be retail space. A public daycare facility is proposed to go on the third floor of one of the buildings.

Another concern brought forward was the impact on traffic the project would have. A signalized intersection is proposed to go at Sunset Drive and Water Street, with an adjacent signal at Ellis Street and Clement Avenue.

If approved at public hearing on June 27, the property would be rezoned from C4, or Urban Centre Commercial, to C7 - Central Business Commercial. Only if approved would a development proposal come forward to council, where the form and character of the project would be discussed.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Jenna Hickman 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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