To the editor:
Last week, the City of Kelowna ran a notice in the local newspapers advertising a public hearing on an Official Community Plan amendment as a result of the consultants’ report on the Downtown Plan Charrette.
The ad reads: “The applicant is proposing OCP amendments to the Kelowna 2030 Official Community Plan Bylaw No. 10500 in relation to the Downtown Plan Charrette recommendations.” And that is all.
Nowhere does the ad mention that the key recommendation is that the 19-storey building height limit in the downtown be increased to 26 storeys.
I am searching for the correct adjective to describe the intent of the city in not fully informing the public as to what this amendment is all about.
I could call city staff incompetent but I know the people in the city clerk’s office to be reasonably intelligent. Should I instead call the city deceptive and imply that they deliberately concealed the controversial nature of the proposed amendment?
That might be closer to the truth as I know that amendment enjoys considerable support on city council or it wouldn’t have gone to public hearing in the first place.
I also know that at least one member of city council had expressed concern about potential opposition to this amendment given council’s previous experience with the public uproar over CD-21.
I don’t know if I should go that far and accuse the city of deliberately concealing the content of this amendment in order to not arouse the public and ensure its smooth passage, but the very least I can say is that the city was negligent in that it did not fully inform the public of its important content.
I will therefore attempt to do this myself through this letter and inform people that there will be a public hearing beginning at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18, at the city hall council chambers where an amendment to the OCP will be presented to increase the maximum building height in downtown Kelowna from 19 to 26 storeys.
I hope enough people show up to stop this travesty from ever becoming law.