To the editor:
The City of Kelowna bought the land for Bluebird Park (on the lake, just south of Mission Creek) about two years ago. It will be a fantastic addition to our waterfront parks. The houses that were on that site are already demolished and the area has been cleared and levelled—all by the city.
Now the city has announced that it will build an interim public-use space there until they get around to building the actual park. Compare this series of events with what has happened at the planned park site near Cedar Avenue. The city has owned these properties for over 20 years, and they say it’ll be another 10 years until a park will be built there, unless KLO Neighbourhood Association (KLONA) raises all of the necessary one to two million dollars. The city has the money for necessary work in one park within two years, but doesn’t have it for another one for 30 years.
KLONA offering to do what the city has failed to do, is admirable. However, PLANKelowna thinks that it’s the city’s job to build parks. At Kelowna City Hall, on Dec. 4, several councilors voiced their concerns that if groups raise funds to partially pay for parks, would they then expect to dictate that park’s design and use.
The federal, provincial and municipal economies are booming and condos are popping up like mushrooms. Customarily, real-estate developers pay for social amenities like local roads, sewers, parks, etc. when their new buildings cause many new service-requiring residents to move into an area.
Why does there seldom seem to be enough money in the city’s budget to build the dozens of undeveloped parks in Kelowna? We think that council is not demanding enough money from developers.
Al Janusas, PLANKelowna
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