Capri-Landmark development plan nears completion

Council is moving forward with the city's major plans for the Capri-Landmark neighbourhood to facilitate development.

Staff is proposing $95 million worth of transportation, park, and utility upgrades to the area bordered by Harvey, Spall, Springfield, and Gordon.

Planner Specialist Ross Soward assured council that the plans would be carried out over the next 20-30 years, but also pointed to the expansion of Sutherland Avenue as an immediate priority.

"What we've seen is that phase one of Sutherland, as well as some improvements at Burtch and Harvey, are really the critical action that's needed in order to relieve some of the constraints, and to open up some of the development capacity in this area," he said.

That phase one would extend Sutherland through to Dayton Street, and continue all the way to Spall in future phases.

Mayor Colin Basran supported the plan, saying that with Kelowna's population steadily increasing, the city can't afford to have everyone sprawl into the suburbs.

"I think this is an easy plan to support, because we're expecting 40,000 more residents in Kelowna in the next 20 years. And I wholeheartedly believe we need to be directing as much of that growth into our urban centres as possible, to stop sprawl for the reasons that have been articulated in staff's report," he said.

"It's expensive. It has a number of negative benefits, outside of just cost. This is the way cities are moving forward."

Councillor Brad Sieben was the only vote in opposition, and says that while he supports the idea of upgrades, he sees plans to dramatically increase park space as too aggressive.

"The parks component for me is the big issue - I like the aspirational, but I want to be realistic too. With a pricetag around $50 million, I just don't think it's realistic," he said.

"To me, that's the component that's too expensive for what you get there, and there's other ways to do it."

He says instead of prescribing a parks quota, he's hopeful the city can negotiate green space to be included by developers in future projects.

Council will be asked to approve a final version of the plan at the end of the summer.