The first phase of a new major redevelopment project in Kelowna is one step closer to reality after multiple bylaws around the project passed first reading at a city council meeting on Monday afternoon.
The new project slated to be built around the Baron-Dilworth intersection will feature a three six-storey wood-frame building with 297 residential units, a complete underground parking area and a marketing and sales office at the north end of the lot.
Ministry of Transporation and Infrastructure officials have also recommended for the installation of left-hand and southbound turn lanes, bus stops and pedestrian signals to the busy intersection during the two phases of the project.
While the second phase of the project hasn’t been implemented, the developer publicly announced their approval last March of two high-rise towers to be added to the side after the wood-framed buildings would be installed.
Certain bylaws carried in the first reading included a bylaw to change the area to a mixed-use residential and commercial area, a bylaw to rezone the area to the Urban Centre Commercial zone, and a bylaw to discharge a land-use contract.
City of Kelowna land use planner Adam Sceke said there was still at least one final detail left before the project could receive the go-ahead.
“Overall, this project meets the intent of mixed-use land development policies in our urban centre. One last condition recommended by staff is that the developer completes an arborist report,” he said.
“This is to see whether the final design can incorporate any existing vegetation on the site.”
During the discussions, Coun. Brad Sieben said the project would give a dramatic makeover to the area’s current look.
“Looking at what’s proposed, it’s quite extensive in terms of the height. That includes the towers that would surround the frame buildings. Certainly from a land-use planning area, it makes sense.”
The area proposed to be developed by 1940 Underhill Developments Corp has sat vacant since the school district sold the site some time ago.
As part of the consultation process, the project is now scheduled to undergo a public hearing on the project at Kelowna City Hall on Tuesday, October 22.