Urban centres the future for Kelowna development - InfoNews

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Urban centres the future for Kelowna development

Bernard Avenue in Kelowna.
Image Credit: Contributed
May 30, 2016 - 4:30 PM

KELOWNA - To succeed as an urban centre, an area has to have a strong sense of place, like downtown Kelowna or South Pandosy.

That much Kelowna councillors could agree on as they debated the urban centres roadmap, a planning document aimed at the five areas city planners view as potential urban centres.

What was up for considerable debate was the boundaries of the five areas, what parts should be included and what shouldn’t.

Planner specialist Ross Soward walked councillors through the five urban centres — Downtown, South Pandosy, Rutland, Midtown and Capri Landmark — and pegged them as early stage, developing or mature.

Downtown Kelowna is considered mature with a distinct sense of place, a range of housing options, people-oriented streets with public spaces and an array of services available for residents.

Outside of downtown, South Pandosy is considered the most successful of the town centres but is still considered a developing area.

Despite its long history as its own community, the Rutland town centre is considered to be in early stages of development, Soward said, showing signs of becoming a distinct area but lacking the housing density and access to other amenities such as parks, public spaces and other services.

While they have plenty of services, Capri-Landmark and Midtown are viewed as the least developed of the town centres, automobile-oriented, lacking recognition as distinct areas with a dearth of public amenities.

Council approved in late 2015 the principals and targets for the urban centre roadmap which is to guide development priorities in each of the five centres.

Staff will return a final draft of the urban centre roadmap in late June.

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