To the editor:
The Okanagan, in particular Kelowna and West Kelowna, continues to grow quite rapidly, resulting in the need for both major urban centres to respond and adapt accordingly. One does not need to spend hours studying housing statistics (of which there are plenty) in order to evidence this growth. All one has to do is stand and observe the amount of visible construction—a myriad of examples of new residential and commercial development—as proof of the current flourishing economy. What a welcome sight after years of stagnation.
The proposed West Kelowna civic centre is a key example of a response that the city can take to elevate its stature not only as a growing city, but a ‘world-class’ city with many attractions and amenities for both locals and visitors. West Kelowna has always been much maligned, accused of not having a proper central core or urban centre: It is, essentially, a long strip plaza with a highway running down the middle of it. The proposed West Kelowna civic centre would not only introduce the city’s seat of government in a fresh, stylish, and conveniently-located building, but it would favourably position West Kelowna as an opportunity for new business, initiating the important work of regenerating the central business area.
Consider the proposed residential component. The proposed civic centre, coupled with the residences, would create a synergy of use which would drive new residents into the area, resulting in new opportunities for new businesses. Over time it is reasonable to expect that the Elliott Road and Highway 97 intersection to move towards a pedestrian-friendly area, one in which residents and visitors could actually walk about without having to rely on automobiles. Already there exists a quaint inner city featuring shops, restaurants and various support amenities—the addition of higher density residential next to the civic centre would provide the opportunity for the neighbourhood to evolve; current businesses would flourish all the while inviting new businesses.
Vote YES to the West Kelowna civic centre and ensure your legacy as a difference-maker. Vote YES and stand with pride in the knowledge that you made a difference.
The new civic centre: West Kelowna’s promise of a central and energized meeting place.
Tactx Project Sales & Marketing Inc.,