Kelowna city council has rejected a rezoning application that would see three highrises built on Coronation Avenue. The decision comes after city staff recommended against the development.
The proposal by Safari Capital is to redevelop 16 properties on the south side of Coronation Avenue. Three towers would be constructed 33, 27 and 20 storeys in height, which also includes a podium used for above-ground parking. The buildings would contain condos, rental apartments, a hotel and commercial space.
City development planning staff were not supportive of the application to redevelop the properties.
“Staff recommended a negative recommendation to not move forward with further planning of the site,” said city councillor Loyal Woolridge. “Mostly because it was premature, knowing we have other decisions currently downstream right now with UBC, as well as some other high-density towers in the downtown area.”
City staff also brought forward concerns relating to the building heights and high density at the location, with an estimated 708 units proposed. Wooldridge is concerned about the high use of concrete for a podium stretching the entire city block.
“I believe that we need to see some articulation and some creativity from a development perspective to ensure that we’re considering people in how they’re using those open spaces,” Wooldridge said.
The proposal also deviates from the building height policy in Kelowna’s 2040 Official Community Plan (OCP).
“I think it will make the city neighbourhoods in that area and east of that area very uncomfortable. We’re not following our OCP at all, we’re basically changing it significantly,” said councillor Luke Stack.
However, council may revisit the Coronation Avenue development and encourages the developer to present a revamped plan to city staff.
“I think there’s potential here and I think it would be an opportunity missed if we can’t find a solution that’s amicable,” said city councillor Brad Sieben.
Concerns are also being raised by city councillors and the public on two more proposed towers in downtown Kelowna. Monday night public hearings are being held for two requested height variances.
“We’ll be considering the text amendment of land use for the new UBCO campus and this isn’t about the form and character, this is about the use of that land,” said Wooldridge.
“We are looking at the disposition of the Doyle Avenue project which is being proposed for a 26-storey purpose-built rental building.”
© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.