Guisachan Heritage Park in Kelowna getting new neighbours

Council approves plan for a 100-unit housing development on vacant land beside popular city park.

Ten years ago a proposal to build a 206-unit development on a large tract of vacant land near Guisachan Heritage Park on Gordon Drive was rejected by Kelowna city council. Now a new plan for a project less than half that size on the same land has found support at city hall.

On Monday council approved a plan to build a 100-unit development, featuring 25 buildings on the site on Gordon Drive between Cameron Avenue and Guisachan Road.

But unlike 10 years ago, this project will not go to a public hearing as the property is already properly zoned for a project of that size.

“If there is an expectation that (people) don’t want this in their neighbourhood or it’s too much – that ship has sailed,” said Mayor Colin Basran.

He said as the proposal conforms to the existing zoning for the property, the developers have the right to bring forward the proposal that they have.

He said his council was simply approving the form and character of the development.

In 2004, the 206-unit development was shot down by council after neighbourhood opposition was expressed at a pubic hearing.

But this time, there will be no public hearing for the development proposal, which will feature duplexes, four-plexes and even five-unit buildings on site.

The land for the development backs onto Guiscachan Heritage Park and will include an existing tree-lines laneway that leads to the park.

Local legend has it that the lane is haunted and a horse and carriage can be heard driving down it late at night, said city planner Ryan Smith.

“No question it’s haunted,” quipped Coun. Charlie Hodge. “I grew up in the area.”

But he quickly added with a grin, the lane was a quite place to bring a date when he was a young and that may be why it was said to be haunted.

The planned development will not have walls or a gate, but instead will be open on three sides.

 

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