Building heights discussed again

The particulars of a broad stroke plan aimed at shaping Kelowna’s downtown brought a familiar conversation to Monday’s Kelowna city council meeting—can this city handle highrises?

According to a report that used the opinions of 41 charette participants, the answer is yes.

“Instead of maximum of 19, now policy would allow for 26 storeys on specific sites,” said Signe Bagh, the director of policy and planning at the City of Kelowna, explaining the results of the public planning meeting held earlier this month.

Bernard Avenue would allow for a height of four storeys, closer to the lake would be similar. Then, heights would rise to as high as 26 storeys moving back from the lake.

As has been the case in previous meetings, this finding was controversial among councillors.

Couns. Charlie Hodge, Michele Rule, Graeme James and Mayor Sharon Shepherd all expressed concerns, although it ultimately gained favour as an extremely rough draft which will come back to council for further revision.

“If I had my druthers it would be a bit different,” said Coun. Robert Hobson.

“In my view we have to accept higher buildings to get the type of density we need to develop our downtown.”



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