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Tourism decision next steps and facts

Image Credit: City of Kelowna
January 27, 2017 - 3:38 PM

KELOWNA - At a public hearing Tuesday, Council approved third reading for an official community plan amendment and rezoning that would allow the project to go ahead if it receives fourth reading at a future Council meeting.

Now that the public hearing is closed, Council members are not permitted to receive any new information or comment from the applicant or public on the proposal under Community Charter legislation. This includes responding to comments or requests on this topic in their personal communications accounts.

Wide ranging public opinions were expressed and published in the months leading up to the public hearing. Some published information was incorrect. In the interest of presenting an accurate description of the building, its location and its financing, here are some facts:

·         Tourism Kelowna is a not-for-profit society that acts as a specialized service on behalf of the City of Kelowna to attract and serve visitors.

·         The City of Kelowna provides 10 per cent of Tourism Kelowna’s budget.

·         City Council members appointed to a board of directors as the municipality’s representative are not in a conflict of interest under the provincial Community Charter legislation.

·         The $2.9-million project will be paid for by Tourism Kelowna through borrowing and fundraising.

·         Tourism Kelowna will pay for any necessary environmental and geotechnical costs.

·         The property was purchased by the City of Kelowna in 2003 at an appraised value of $193,000.

·         The building is proposed for the current parking lot at the Queensway jetty.

·         The building is outside the Sawmill Community Trust lands.

·         The building reverts back to City of Kelowna at the end of the 29-year lease.

·         R.V. traffic accounts for fewer than 240 vehicles per year served in Kelowna.

·         The visitor centre will have public washrooms paid for and maintained by Tourism Kelowna.

·         The building will be available for community members and organizations to rent for special events.

·         An updated Downtown Parking Management Strategy is planned to ensure there is sufficient parking for customers and visitors to key areas, while at the same time supporting the goal of providing a balanced transportation network from the Official Community Plan (encouraging people to carpool, take transit, bike and/or walk to work, when possible).

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