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Much-debated downtown tower before Kelowna council in two weeks

Final rezoning to be considered for 25-storey building planned for 350 Doyle Street

A high-rise at the centre of a towering controversy in downtown Kelowna will be back before council on Jul. 26.

It will consider final adoption to rezone the property at 350 Doyle Avenue to allow for a 25-storey building. The original plans called for 13 storeys, but revised documents were submitted to the city earlier this year by Appelt Developments and partner Wexford Developments requesting the doubling in height.

The change prompted Kelowna Legacy Group (KLG), a citizens coalition, to issue a statement accusing the developers of a “bait and switch” on the project. KLG has asked for a formal investigation into the development.

In an article with Capital News from May 31, 2022, Ryan Smith, director of planning and development at the city, explained that the developers had a submission consistent with their original proposal.

“They went out and did their public consultation. What came back loud and clear was lots of concern about the bulk of their 13-storey building, and there was a suggestion that maybe they build a taller, more slender tower that obstructed views less.”

In the same article, Appelt Developments said the changes were a result of community input received on the building’s form and character.

“We have received tremendous support for the 350 Doyle application, and we are pleased that our neighbours are perceiving the design changes as an improvement on the earlier version of the plan,” said Greg Appelt, president.

If council approves final rezoning, development permits would also be issued for the project.

A public hearing for the UBC Okanagan tower at 550 Doyle Avenue is also scheduled for Jul 26. Council will consider rezoning a portion of the property to the proposed CD28 - University of British Columbia Downtown Campus zone. The project is slated to be Kelowna’s tallest building at 46-storeys.

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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