Redevelopment of the Capri Landmark area, destined to become Kelowna’s next residential and commercial hub, has been on the city’s agenda for some time.
After much debate, it was passed Monday by city council, but it wasn’t unanimous.
Councillor Luke Stack is one of three councillors who voted against the plan.
His concern is the displacement of several businesses, since the plan calls for the realignment of Sutherland Avenue in order to connect to Spall Road.
“The problem I’ve had with that is we put a successful commercial park in that area, and the only way to put this road through is to basically plow through the buildings and connect the two streets,” said Stack.
Darryl Borsato has one of the businesses that may have to move. He says moving is the last thing he wants to do.
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“We’re not too excited about moving. There are not a lot of options within this area to move to. The other problem is that we’re looking at doubling our rent in order to stay in this location,” Borsato said.
Lambert Schmalz is Borsato’s landlord. Schmalz is no fan of the redevelopment plan either. He says it would be a shame to have to tear down his buildings and disrupt his business tenants.
“I guess they have to come down because we need a big road, according to city staff,” Schmalz said.
“We need bicycle paths, we need bus stops, we need the green paths, then we need a trail for the dogs and the cats and whoever else.”
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The only thing working in favour of Schmalz and his tenants is time. Despite council’s endorsement, nothing is expected to happen for decades.
“I think this plan could eventually unfold, but I think it will take 20 to 40 years,” Stack said.