A plan to revitalize the area between the Capri Centre and the Landmark business towers in Kelowna has been approved by city council.
But not without some councillors balking at the proposed estimated price tag of as much as $100 million over 22 years.
“I love this plan but I don’t have confidence the city can pull it off given the cost,” said Coun. Luke Stack. “I’m concerned the cost is going to cripple it.”
Stack, the lone vote against the plan, said he could not vote to approve something he did not feel was achievable.
On Monday, city staff presented council with what it called the “preferred” concept plan, an ambitious vision for the area bordered by Gordon Drive, Spall Road, Highway 97 and Springfield Road.
The plan, nearly a year in the making, is designed to guide future development in the area and encourage an increase in residential development around the multi-tower Landmark business campus.
The plan calls for more multi-family residential development, a re-aligning of Sutherland Road, a major park, establishment of Dickson Avenue as the main street in the area with commercial development along it, priority for pedestrians and cycling, the introduction of transit to the area and a pedestrian pathway along Richie Brook.
Conceding partnerships will have to be found to help pay for the work, as well as convincing the development community to buy into the project, city staff said much of the city’s money for the plan would come from development cost charges, fees developers pay the city when they build projects to help cover the cost of associated municipal infrastructure.
While medium and high density development would be encouraged in the Landmark portion of the area, the current medium density would be maintained in the residential area around the Capri Centre Mall. The mall site is slated for redevelopment in the future, featuring higher density residential buildings and open/green space.
In the area around the Landmark towers, the height limits for buildings could go as high as 16 to 18 storeys.
“I’m really excited by this” said Mayor Colin Basran, who described the plan as possibly the one project the current council will deal with during the current term that will have the most far-reaching impact.
“Call me a dreamer but I love this plan,” he said.
The city expects the Capri-Landmark area to grow to nearly 10,000 people by 2040 if the plan is implemented.
City staff plan to continue working on the plan and bring it back to council for final approval in the spring after more consultation with developers and the public.