> City council has said no to a massive development on Coronation Avenue – for now – Kelowna News

City council has said no to a massive development on Coronation Avenue – for now – Kelowna News

A massive three tower development that would redefine the Coronation Avenue neighbourhood has been turned down by city council.

At least for the time being.

The proposed development included towers proposed to reach 33, 27 and 20 storeys in height situated atop one long podium stretching across a land assembly of more than a dozen properties from St Paul east to the laneway short of Richter Street.

As it did with a proposed 46-storey tower on Bertram Street 18 months ago, planning staff brought this plan forward for “early consideration” by council before staff and the developer invest more resources and money into a project planning manager Terry Barton calls a complex file that “sits well beyond our existing policy framework.

The overall development would feature more that 700 units, including two towers of market rental units and some for sale suites.

It would also include an 85-room hotel and some ground floor commercial.

Barton says planning staff did not support the project because of the overall height, density and negative fit within a more low rise neighbourhood.

Barton also called the project, “premature,” saying there are still so many unknowns development-wise in the area.

He said it was staff’s view the project was largely predicated on the UBCO tower which is “not approved, not built and not operating.

“If UBCO is built, if Kerkhoff’s building is built at the FSH site, if Mission Group’s rental tower at 17 storeys is built on Bertam, if some of the other tower proposals come forth and we are talking five or 10 years down the road, does this proposal make more sense – potentially.

In saying not now, Coun. Luke Stack said he believed the development was too much for the site, specifically the single podium that would run the entire length of the development.

He also suggested it would signal too much of a shift from the new Official Community Plan.

“I think it will make neighbourhoods in that area and east of that area very uncomfortable, that we are not following our own OCP at all. We are basically changing it significantly,” said Stack.”

While council agreed with staff, they also left the door wide open for the developer to come back with something different at a later time.

They were mostly impressed with the unprecedented land assembly required to bring it together and were intrigued by what could come after further discussions between the developer and planning staff.

“I really like this project, but I think it’s beyond where it needs to be,” said Mayor Colin Basran.

“I really encourage you to work with our planning staff because a consolidation like this doesn’t come along very often.

“We have a unique opportunity here that can be a win-win scenario, but I don’t think we are quite there yet.”

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