Kelowna: Hospital zone requires a sit-down

Two big bureaucracies will sit down for a heart-to-heart as the battle of the historic area's future heats up

  • Jul. 29, 2013 8:00 a.m.

Two big bureaucracies will sit down for a heart-to-heart before the city moves forward with any plans or studies on how development around the hospital will proceed.

Following news the Interior Health Authority needs to expand outside the bounds of the hospital campus in order to accommodate parking, Kelowna city council decided its staff should take a cautious approach and sit down with the health authority to find out what other surprises lie in wait.

“Really, we are responding to Interior Health in a number of ways. Maybe, before we go ahead a do a study, the city should sit down with IH and see what their future plans are,” said Coun. Robert Hobson as a lengthy debate got underway Monday afternoon.

A bid to convert three lots on Royal Avenue into a parking lot goes to public hearing Tuesday night and is expected to be highly contentious as the surrounding neighbourhood is a carefully protected heritage zone. Some homeowners say they now feel they can neither sell nor rent their properties as a result of the parking lot plans, council heard.

The city’s staff suggested they should undertake a plan or study to deal with the entire issue—researching the best practices other cities have applied to similar problems—but city councillors were unsure the geographical boundaries included in the proposed study parameters really help an already contentious situation. There could be arguments over who was included and who wasn’t and whether the purpose of the study could ultimately do-in previous heritage protections, councillors suggested.

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Kelowna Capital News