A view of Gellatly Bay Aquatic Park on Friday. A waterfront village with higher-density housing complexes is part of the long-term vision for the area.
The scenic bay in West Kelowna could be a prime spot for attractive new development with a pedestrian-emphasis, Mayor Doug Findlater said.
"I think there's some public demand for small-scale commercial development along there," Findlater said Friday.
The municipality will use a consultant this fall to draw public input on the possibility of allowing more development in Gellatly Bay.
"This is all very, very high-level concept work right now," Findlater said.
"Beginning in October, we'll hear from the public about what they'd like to see happen down there."
West Kelowna council is working to improve the appearance and functionality of Boucherie Road, which runs along the waterfront in Gellatly Bay.
Improvements include a new waterfront walking trail, decorative lighting, lit park benches, bike lanes, and additional trees.
"With the walkway, we may have created the demand for services to further enhance the experience of people using the area," Findlater said.
Other than the road right-of-way and the waterfront path, there is no public land in Gellatly Bay. So any new development would likely involve a conversion of existing privately owned residential land, or occur on properties currently zoned for agriculture or light-industrial uses.
A new hotel, while not currently envisioned in West Kelowna's waterfront plan, could be a possibility in the future, Findlater said, noting the proximity of the nearby Cove Lakeside Resort.
One form of development, however, that he believes is unlikely are highrises, like the kind that dot Kelowna's downtown waterfront on the other side of Okanagan Lake.
"I think it makes more sense to encourage high-rise development around the Westbank town
centre," which already has a variety of shops and services, Findlater said.