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Basran loves Capri-Landmark densification idea, but city staff told to re-examine plan

City council in Kelowna has asked staff to re-examine a plan to densify the Capri-Landmark area.
City council in Kelowna has asked staff to re-examine a plan to densify the Capri-Landmark area. Submitted

A report issued to Kelowna city council says the Capri-Landmark urban centre plan is worth endorsing, as it could lead to an additional 7,000 to 8,000 residences.

The 10-page report, submitted by planning specialist Ross Soward, says “the Capri-Landmark area has several strengths that could be leveraged to support its evolution towards a mature urban centre. The emergence of Landmark was one of the region’s most important employment centres positions the area as an important economic hub in Kelowna’s core.”

The report said “Capri-Landmark was prioritized as the city’s first area for a detailed urban centre plan for two key reasons: Growing development pressure in the urban centre, and the deficit of infrastructure exemplified by the fragmented street network, discontinuous sidewalks and limited parks spaces in the Landmark District.”

The purpose of the report was to “consider endorsement of the Capri-Landmark Urban Centre Plan and to direct staff to move forward with Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw amendments to support the redevelopment objectives of the plan.”

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If and when that endorsement happens is anyone’s guess, as council directed city staff to re-examine and refine its plan after a lengthy discussion on Monday. The projected pricetag is pegged at $96 million, with $37 million going to land costs and $59 million for project costs.

An overview of what the Capri-Landmark plan could look like.
An overview of what the Capri-Landmark plan could look like. City of Kelowna

Mayor Colin Basran is in support of the project, stating “I love this plan.”

“The people are coming to our city,” he said. “So whether we like it or not, we are going to have tough infrastructure decisions to make, period, because we can’t now say ‘8,000 people, go live somewhere else.’ Because if we do, we are still going to have the same challenges.

“And so regardless of what happens, we’re still going to have to have road realignment conversations and somebody is still going to be upset with those. We’re still going to have to designate somebody’s property as future park and somebody’s going to be upset with that. They’re still going to come with a cost.”

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Basran added “if we don’t plan, what guarantee is it that we will get parks in that area? We won’t.”

If council does support the plan, it won’t be an overnight change. According to the report, “the vision describes how the urban centre might transform and develop over the next 20 years or more. This transformation will take place gradually as redevelopment and civic investment occurs, with important roles for both the city and development community.”