In what is being described as a first for the city of Kelowna, a neighbourhood association has been given the go-ahead to raise between $1 million and $1.7 million to start development of a park on lakefront land the city owns in the South Pandosy area.
The land, officially known as Pandosy Waterfront Park, is located in the 3000-block of Abbott Street. It has already been the subject of design charette to plan its future conversion into a park and is currently home to the Kelowna Paddling Centre
But with no money to turn it into a park and no plan to do so for at least seven years, the land is currently sitting vacant and off-limits to the public. So council has agreed to let the KLO Neighbourhood Association raise money to start the work early.
On Monday, city staff said there are two plans for initial park development, the more ambitious one costing $1.7 million and a scaled-down version costing $1 million.
The association was praised by councillors for making the offer, one that would see the land become a park well in advance of the original 2026 time line.
“It’s a pretty creative approach,” said Coun. Luke Stack. “One thing we all know is we have a tremendous deficit in resources to develop our parkland.”
The land in question has been the subject of public protests in the past, when it was feared the city would sell parts of the property for commercial development. The plan identifies property for future mixed-use commercial development adjacent to the new park, inland from the lakeshore, adjacent to the South Pandosy commercial area.
The full cost of creating the lake-front park for the south Pandosy area is around $6 million council was told.
In another move, council voted to stop using the area as an off-leash dog park and dog beach.
The plan to open the area for public use was made as part of a broader move to open up four lake-front properties the city owns to the public for public use.
Two are beach accesses—one at 808 Manhattan Pointe Drive and at the other at Swick Road in the Mission. The third is Bluebird Beach Park in the Mission.
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