Open letter to Kelowna mayor and council;
I am rather shocked at the council’s position to refuse this developers request based on the rather absurd recommendation by city staff. [See Kelowna Turns Down Hotels Footprint, June 15 Kelowna Capital News.]
City staff really feels the best look for our community is to have large buildings tight to the roadways? I want to see trees and foliage lining our streets rather than large buildings such as the newly constructed building at 1824 Gordon Ave., across from the Capri.
Now, let’s remove the natural landscaping look from Hwy. 97 and make it all concrete—that is such a warm and welcoming image as people drive into our city.
I view this as very hypocritical coming from a planning department that approved many kilometres worth of planted boulevards that require tens of thousands of dollars worth of annual upkeep at taxpayers’ expense, with quite ugly landscaping in my opinion, and then denying a private developer whose business is all about image to beautify a high-traffic corner with trees and other foliage.
Now let’s take a look at all of the car dealerships that have been built over the last few years as well, if you want to talk about parking lots lining our streets. I am sure that the argument would be used, ‘but they have to sell their cars.’ Well guess what, hotels have to rent their rooms and I have yet to see a used car dealer in Langley plant trees in front of their lots.
There is no room for double standards at city hall and I feel that the city staff is applying different rules to different groups.
Maybe it’s time for city staff and council to realize that their salaries are based on the economic health of our community and just how difficult it is to actually make money at a business venture.
The hotel chain is willing to invest millions of dollars into our community, provide quite a bit of direct employment as well as spin off benefits and make Kelowna even more of a destination.
Scott Landry, Kelowna