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Kelowna’s North End Plan highlights housing, parks, shopping, transportation

Preferred concept and draft plan going to council in the new year
A City of Kelowna staff member explains aspects of the North End Plan to a resident during an open house in Oct., 2023. (Gary Barnes/Capital News)

The next step has been taken in the city’s plan to develop the North End.

Council directed staff to develop a preferred concept and draft the North End Plan (NEP) at its Dec. 4 morning meeting.

The plan focuses on the four key themes of housing, parks and public spaces, shops, services and employment, and transportation.

Three concepts were presented to the public during several open houses, and online engagement, in October.

There was general support for townhomes and low-rise apartments, affordable housing options, a waterfront park and pathway from Knox Mountain Park to downtown, and support for a grocery store.

Public comments also called for improved transit service and better neighbourhood connectivity with cycling infrastructure and multi-use pathways.

High demand for a school, with the preferred location adjacent to Walrod Park, was also highlighted.

“I agree that we need to have a site for school down there if we’re going to see growth in the future,” said Coun. Luke Stack. “I like the direction staff is going.”

Coun. Charlie Hodge urged staff to include as much green space as possible in the NEP.

“This is a very green council and I’m not sure that future councils may ever have the same strong green attitude that we do,” he said. “It’s up to this council to procure and purchase and plan for that green space now.”

The NEP also includes the former Tolko mill site, a 17-hectare privately-owned waterfront property.

The mill site redevelopment is being addressed through a separate planning process being led by the landowner.

It’s expected the preferred concept and draft NEP will be presented to council in the first few months of 2024.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Recently joined Kelowna Capital News and WestK News as a multimedia journalist in January 2022. With almost 30 years of experience in news reporting and radio broadcasting...
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