The latest proposed residential building for Kelowna’s Central Green project, a building some on council feel looks “utilitarian.” —Image: contributed

The latest proposed residential building for Kelowna’s Central Green project, a building some on council feel looks “utilitarian.” —Image: contributed

Council not happy with high-profile Kelowna development

The Central Green project was to be “iconic.” Instead, according to council, it’s “utilitarian”

Kelowna city councillors don’t like it but developers of the Central Green residential development project at Richter Street and Harvey Avenue say soil conditions prevent them from building as high as originally planned.

And that, in part, prompted council to defer approval Monday of a development permit for the latest building proposed for the site.

At council’s regular weekly meeting, Bob Daigenais of Al Stober Construction said the soil conditions on the site make it too expensive to prepare the property for a 12-storey building.

“Just because you want a tower doesn’t mean you can build a tower,” he told council.

When council approved the original plan for developing the former home to Kelowna Senior Secondary into a multi-building, mixed-use residential community, the plan called for 12-storey buildings along the Harvey Avenue frontage of the property. But they were dropped from the plan early on. Lower buildings were envisioned for farther back on the site and a large new park on the south side of the site.

But so far, all of the buildings have been five storeys tall.

“We’re not going to see the kind of height we wanted to see on that site,” said Coun. Gail Given, who noted there was extensive public consultation prior the original plan being approved and the public also wanted to see high density, mixed-use residential buildings of varying heights.

As for mixed-use, that too now appears to be smaller in scope than originally planned. Daigenais said because of the few designated access points and a lack of space for a loading zone, businesses like grocery stores are not likely to locate there and a bank will not place a branch on the site because there cannot be a drive-through. He said the businesses that will be located onsite will likely be small operations like coffees shop, bakeries and a hair stylists.

He added the project has been planned to be oriented toward pedestrians, not vehicles.

For that reason, a building originally planned for the corner of Richter and Harvey has been replaced with a public plaza.

Despite the lack of high rises, the developers say they will still achieve the city-set target of 500 residential units on the site—in both strata and rental buildings.

But the way the development has evolved had several councillors grumbling Monday.

“I’m really disappointed with where Central Green has gone,” said Coun. Charlie Hodge.

At the meeting, council voted to defer approval for the latest building proposed for site, a five-storey rental building that would front Richter Street.

The building was described by Coun. Brad Seiben as “utilitarian” in appearance. Coun. Tracey Gray said she felt it looked like many others in the city.

“When someone drives past this development, I want them to go ‘wow’,” said Coun. Mohini Singh. But she said, that is not likely to happen given the look of the buildings being built on the site.

Given said it appears the city’s hope of an “iconic” development for the high-profile site have been dashed.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.



awaters@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

People participated in a walk to honour the 215 children found at a former Kamloops residential school, as well as residential school survivors. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna marks National Indigenous Peoples’ Day with walk to remember Kamloops 215

“Let’s speak the truth and deal with the truth, and heal.”

Kelowna Cabs’ dispatchers will be coming back to work now that their union and the taxi company have come to an agreement. (Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs dispatchers set to go back to work

The taxi company and the dispatchers’ union have reached an agreement

t
Motorcyclist critically injured in Westside Road collision

Motorcyclist collides with vehicle, struck by another: preliminary police findings

People at the beach in front of Discovery Bay Resort on Tuesday, July 14. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Heat wave forecast for Okanagan-Shuswap

Temperatures are forecast to hit record breaking highs this week

The Crofton trailer park home where the bodies of two people were found. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Kelowna mom still waiting for answers after daughter and her fiance found dead

Pair discovered in their Vancouver Island home in May identified as Rachel Gardner and Paul Jenkins

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Chilliwack secondary school’s principal is apologizing after a quote equating graduation with the end of slavery in the U.S. was included in the 2020-2021 yearbook. (Screenshot from submitted SnapChat)
B.C. student’s yearbook quote equates grad to end of slavery; principal cites editing error

Black former student ‘disgusted’ as CSS principal apologizes for what is called an editing error

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross. (Photo by Peter Versteege)
BC Liberal leadership candidate condemns ‘senseless violence’ of Okanagan church fires

Skeena MLA Ellis Ross says reconciliation isn’t about revenge for past tragedies

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A coroner’s inquest will be taking place at the Capitol Theatre in Port Alberni for the next week. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Teen B.C. mom who died following police custody recalled as ‘friend to many’

Police sent Jocelyn George to hospital after intoxication had gone ‘beyond the realm’ of normal detox

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2020, file photo, Las Vegas Raiders defensive end Carl Nassib leaves the field after an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Atlanta. Nassib on Monday, June 21, 2021, became the first active NFL player to come out as gay. Nassib announced the news on Instagram, saying he was not doing it for the attention but because “I just think that representation and visibility are so important.” (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)
Nassib becomes first active NFL player to come out as gay

More than a dozen NFL players have come out as gay after their careers were over

Photograph By MICHAEL POTESTIO.KTW
Former Kamloops security gaurd wants job back after kicking incident caught on video

Rick Eldridge quit when a video surfaced of him kicking a man outside a facility for homeless

COVID-19 daily cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day moving average to June 17, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections drop to 90 on Sunday, 45 Monday

Pandemic spread dwindles as 77% of adults receive vaccine

(Black Press file photo)
EDITORIAL: Curtailing attempts at scams

The true total of losses from all scams and frauds could be much higher than the figures on file

Most Read