Letter: Keep the water’s edge for people before offices
To the editor:
As I walk along our amazing downtown lakeside in winter and summer, from the marsh to the bridge, it is not by accident or without foresight that our citizens can enjoy this part of our city, and share it with our visitors.
First, let me commend the Kelowna city staff and council for giving opportunity to see the vision for our community. Sometimes one thing can rise to prominence and limit perspective on the whole vision.
I can see that every department has had a part to develop and care for our lakefront. The access has improved in ease and safety for young and old alike.
Who knew simple joy could be had with the freedom to walk along our lake. The improvement to the walkway in front of the yacht club is a bonus.
The media announced the roundabout and the re-alignment of the area for the buses [Queensway]. That seems to allow for better traffic flow.
The development of the [proposed] hotel on the other side of that roundabout is also on the council table. So much is focusing on the lake end of Bernard Avenue neighbourhood.
I need help understanding the necessity of having a new building for the Kelowna Tourism right next to the lake and the proposed hotel development. The greater square footage of the building is for administration, with the building height considered at two storeys.
Did I mention it was right by the lake? A world-class architect could design a beautiful building and it would still be two storeys overlooking the lake. For whom?
If there are enough funds for a new building, could an option be to build it on the other end of Bernard, a great starting point for the new visitor. Or how about by some of the new areas being developed around the downtown library?
It would allow for a flow of traffic and a natural roundabout by Prospera Place.
Surely the need for an open parking area, safe for the new visitor and our citizens, would put a building in the midst of a natural walkway off the table.
Do we need visitor information? Yes, but not at the cost of access to our lakefront.