One Water condos get green light

Kelowna council has approved plans for a project that's set to include the city's tallest building.

Tuesday night, council raved about the ammenities planned for One Water Street, which includes more than 404 condo units with 544 parking stalls.

Councillor Luke Stack says after years of waiting, council is getting exactly the type of project they've hoped for.

"People have been sort of ribbing me for many years, like 'what are you going to do about that dirt pile on the corner of Ellis?' he said.

"To be honest, I think the reason we've only had two people speaking to this ..this area")

Stack's reference to public speakers came after council heard from only two people who were opposed.

The new buildings will be 29 and 36 storeys high, which will rise above current downtown condos that peak at 26 storeys.

Councillor Charlie Hodge was the only one to vote against the project, citing concerns over the height and the density.

"I have a very hard time going from 26 (storeys) to 36, even though it's a spectacular building," he said.

"I'm concerned about the traffic - 400 people living in there, that's a lot of traffic on a road that I don't think is planned or designed for that amount of traffic."

As far as the traffic argument goes, Mayor Colin Basran says he doesn't buy it.

"Could you imagine even if we halfed the number of units, say 200, and put 200 single family homes in suburban neighbourhoods in our community?" he said.

"That to me is a far greater traffic nightmare than adding 400 condos in an area close to transit, close to walking distance to ammenities, that provides bike storage for people to be able to ride their bikes."

Multiple members of council also heaped praise onto the design of the building, which includes things like street-level retail, pickleball courts, and park space for dogs.

There's also plans to have on-site daycare, rooftop gardens, and swimming pools.