Public hearing upcoming on proposed West Kelowna highrise

West Kelowna council is anticipating an upcoming public hearing, where plans for a 10-storey residence in Lakeview Heights will be debated.

The proposal is for the developer to split the cost of a new fire hall with the city, on the site at Olalla Road and Anders Road.

In exchange, the zone would be ammended to allow for a maximum height of 10 storeys instead of six.

Councillor Rick de Jong was the only one to vote against it, saying his main issues were with the increased height allowance, and the lack of cost certainty on the fire hall.

"I don't see this as in the best interest - a ten storey building in the middle of Lakeview Heights. It can be made beautiful, it's still a ten storey building, and it's going to be our first," he said.

"I'm not sure putting it in the middle of a residential area where there's a small shopping mall is the place to put our first ten storey building. So I can't support this the way it's written."

The full project would include four separate buildings, and have roughly 300 units of housing spread over five lots, on the site of the old Lakeview Elementary School.

Councillor Duane Ophus says it wouldn't be out of place.

"It might be nice, as Councillor de Jong said, that our first ten storey building wasn't in Lakeview Heights, but the fact of the matter is, this is where people want to build it, and this is where people want to live," he said.

"Lakeview Heights is a dynamic up-and-coming neighbourhood, people are looking to downsize in the neighbourhood, and I think that we need to be putting this forward and seeing how the public reacts to it."

Councillor Bryden Winsby says he's wondering what the mix of positive and negative reactions will be.

"I think this kind of development may have a place, it certainly does in my mind. And it will be very interesting to test the opinions of people who live in the area now," he said.

"I'm sure a lot of them will be either concerned or opposed, but a great many others will see this as something we need."

Council also heard that the location would be ideal for a new fire station, and isn't the case of a less desirable spot being picked to appease the developer.