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The changing face of Vernon's lakeshore: condos, hotel and more proposed

Part of the 16-acre site on Okanagan Landing Road and Lakeshore Road in Vernon slated for development.
September 19, 2019 - 6:00 PM

VERNON - Imagine sipping a latte from a cafe overlooking Okanagan Lake in Vernon, while people stroll by on a public promenade, before walking back to your townhouse, condo or hotel room, all just a stone's throw from Okanagan Lake.

The idea is the five-year vision of Avillia Developments who have purchased a 16-acre site, near Kin Beach, on the corner of Okanagan Road and Lakeshore Road in Vernon.

President of the Edmonton-based developer Patrick Shaver told plans for the site were still very much in the early stages but he hoped construction of phase one of the predicted five-year plan could start sometime next year.

It's the third lakeside development proposal to pop-up in recent months, and if all goes to plan could dramatically change the look and feel of the southern lakeshore on the Vernon arm of Okanagan Lake.

Early this year a proposal for a 19 unit, six-storey apartment building on nearby Brooks Lane was rejected by council. A redesigned five-storey proposal will go to a public consultation sometime in the future and will need council's approval. Kelowna-based K West Homes is planning to develop a five-storey, 103 unit micro suite apartment block slated at 2555 Lakeshore Road. The project is currently waiting on a development permit from the City.

Shaver said Avillia purchased the land that sits on Okanagan Landing Road next to the Strand Lakeside Resort and stretches past Lakeshore Drive to Cummins Road several months ago.

He said current ideas plan for a mixed-use commercial and residential development that may feature everything from four or five, six to eight-storey condo buildings, a hotel, townhouses and some commercial space for restaurants, cafes and other businesses. The development would sit on the shores of Okanagan Lake, but provide a publically accessed promenade, and possibly pier, that wrapped around the lake.

Around eight or nine acres of the land is developable and the company was committed to protecting the creek and wetlands that run through the site, he said.

Shaver said the project is still very much in the design stage and plenty of different ideas and concepts and currently being looked at.

The development does fit in with the city's Official Community Plan - a kind of rough development guide - but as the site is zoned for low-density housing for any mixed-use development to take place the land will have to be rezoned and that rezoning passed by Vernon council.

Shaver envisions the first part of the development to be townhouses on the piece of land between Cummins and Lakeshore Roads, which would not require a rezoning, and all being well would start next year.

He hoped the company would have some more concrete plans for the site in the next two or three months.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Ben Bulmer or call (250) 309-5230 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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