Kelowna resident petitioning plans for waterfront visitor centre

A petition opposing a Visitor Centre near Kelowna's waterfront has garnered close to 100 signatures in 5 days.

Marguerite Berry started the petition because she says Kerry Park should remain a park with no obstruction or developments, and believes that won't be the case once the lot for the centre is rezoned.

“Once you change the zoning and once you allow the waterfront to change drastically it opens the door for not only that piece of waterfront but also waterfront on the other side, where cedar is,” she says “and we set precedence every time we change zoning and every time we allow the unusual to happen”.

Tourism Kelowna is proposing to build the 3,300 square foot centre, which would replace the one on Harvey Ave., on a city-owned parking lot at Queensway and Mill Street. It says the building would be one storey with a mezzanine and sit 15 metres away from the water, with a plaza like environment around it.

When Tourism Kelowna first announced its plans last March, the building was 40% larger and sat on Simpson Covenant lands, but after public opposition the organization made changes. 

Regardless of what the current plans are, Berry says once the lot has been rezoned from P3 – Parks and Open Space to P1 – Major Institutional, a building of up to 6 stories tall could be developed in the future.  

“We don’t know what the next council is going to do,” she says “we have seen so many changes of infill already and I think it’s time for people to have their say that they want park land”.

Council passed the first reading of an application to rezone the property last December and a public hearing will be held on January 24.

The petition can be found here