In his Jan. 30 letter about the public engagement over the Pandosy waterfront, Michael Neill asked why some city-owned parcels are not included in the design charrette (urban design workshop) scheduled for Feb. 25 and 26.
I'd like to answer that question and also make a few clarifications.
The city owns seven lakefront lots on Abbott Street, just north of Cedar Avenue, which are the subject of the upcoming workshop.
The city owns an additional four lakefront properties south of Cedar Avenue on Walnut Street. These properties are adjacent to many large, privately owned parcels whose development will impact the city-owned parcels. There won't be a detailed site plan for these properties because the city does not own all the land.
However, it is recognized that the community would like neighbourhood context for the larger Pandosy waterfront area.
The upcoming charrette will produce an addendum to the Cedar Avenue Area Plan and will describe design guidelines for the South Pandosy area, including this block of properties south of Cedar Avenue.
Neill states that these properties were purchased by the city with park funds. This is incorrect.
Four of the seven properties were purchased from the land reserve account. While there has always been a vision to provide waterfront access and some park space on these properties, the purchase from the land reserve, rather than the parkland reserve, allows flexibility in how that land is used. The public engagement process will craft a detailed site plan for these seven properties.
Neill also states that the city is insisting charrette participants develop a plan that will provide the city with general revenue. This is not the case.
Council provided a clear project parameter that the project have no additional tax impact. The project must seek a balance between building amenities, like a park and a paddle centre, with the need to pay for it. The charrette will bring together community minds to find a creative site solution that meets this parameter.
For more information about the public engagement process and the project parameters for the Pandosy waterfront, visit kelowna.ca/cityprojects.
You can also share your thoughts on the city's online engagement tool at getinvolved.kelowna.ca.
strategic land development manager,
City of Kelowna