Text below from November 19, 2020 Castanet News article
I was blown away. I think this is a really well designed building.” Those comments from Kelowna city councilor Charlie Hodge before he and his colleagues unanimously approved development and variance permits for a senior’s living development at the corner of KLO and Lakeshore roads. “It’s ideal for seniors, and it’s in a perfect location, there’s no question about that,” he added.
The decision by council came as a blow to the KLO Neighbourhood Association, which has been fighting against what they believe to be the over-densification of the overall neighbourhood. Speaking out against the project Tuesday evening, association spokesperson Brent Warne said in a survey of association residents, 90 per cent were concerned about overall development in the city while nearly the same number were against anything over six storeys within the south Pandosy neighbourhood. He said adding 142 units would only add to numerous neighbourhood concerns, including increased traffic and congestion and put a strain on infrastructure. We’re not opposed to development, he told council, but did hope they would respect the bylaw in the OCP. Specifically concerning an increase in height from the allowed four storeys to nine. Warne was one of nine people to address council. However, seven of those were in favour, or read a letter from someone who was.
Representatives of Parc Retirement Living, the company which will operate the building say they believe the development will strengthen the city’s housing mix. The company says the development will include a public art component and a transit stop at the front door. The building itself will include street-level commercial on both KLO and Lakeshore, a two-storey parking podium and seven floors of residential suites. “This ticks all the boxes,” said Coun. Gail Given. “I respect not all residents in the area will agree, but I have to make decisions about what I think is best from an urban planning perspective well into the future.” Coun. Brad Sieben said the project is providing a diversified and specific housing type that isn’t built often, but is necessary. “This provides more supply,” he said, adding four storeys would be an under utilization of the property. “This is an urban centre. This is where we should have density.” The property, a former gas station, has been vacant for well over a decade.