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UPDATE: Commercial project in The Ponds gets enthusiastic response from Kelowna City Council

(UPDATE: Aug. 23 @ 9:35 am) – The first phase of a commercial development in The Ponds neighbourhood in the Upper Mission has been given the green light by city council.

The proposed commercial centre received an enthusiastic response from council members and was approved by an unanimous vote of support.

“Overall, I am really excited to see this come forward to build a more community to south Mission,” stated councillor Loyal Wooldridge.

According to city staff’s report, the centre would be made up of over 7,700 square metres of commercial space at 988 and 1090 Frost Road.

“I am particularly pleased with the palette colour, I like the idea of tying it in with the trestles,” said councillor Luke Stack.

“One of the concerns I’ve had with this village centres is how it’s going to look and blend into the neighbourhood. I think the development team has done really well.”

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kelowna

Dean Strachan, community planning and development manager, noted that planning staff took the required parameters for grocery stores and other retail stores into consideration when planning this site.

This was done to ensure the future stores had enough room for loading bays, parking for customers and landscaping.

City staff were supportive of the development permit application because it meets the guidelines in the Official Community Plan and will address the need for retail in the area.

“I just want to put on record how pleased I am to see this come forward,” said councillor Gail Given.

“I know that it's been requested for a long time that a grocery store to come to this area, the ability for a retailer to actually make money requires some population density.”

Councillor Given said she suspected the developer had to work fairly hard to entice a retailer to come to that area of the Upper Mission.

Councillor Brad Sieben said he was also happy to see the commercial development come to fruition.

“This is all predicated a little bit on road networks and so that is a big driver to this, to add to councillor Given’s comments, to make it viable,” stated councillor Sieben.

“The traffic issues that we have going down Gordon Drive or going down Lakeshore Road, hopefully, are a little bit alleviated by having some of (these) services in these neighbourhoods.”

The next step for the first phase of the commercial aspect of The Ponds Village Centre will include building permits being issued.

(Original story: Aug. 22 @ 11:35 am) – Residents living in the Upper Mission could soon be one step closer to having easier access to commercial services in their neighbourhood.

During the regular meeting on Monday, city council will be considering the first phase of a proposed commercial complex at 1090 Frost Road.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kelowna

These properties were first designated for commercial use when the Neighbourhood 3 Area Structure Plan was created in 2007.

A development application was submitted to the city in early June, 2022 for three buildings.

According to staff’s report the subject properties (988 and 1090 Frost Rd.) are about 13.5 acres in size and are a part of the first phase of the Ponds Village Centre.

Currently, the properties are vacant. Design plans now show that, once built out, there will be four large commercial units with nearly 7,800 square metres of space to meet the day-to-day needs of residents living in the area.

The second phase will see the development of smaller commercial spaces, but those will require separate permits.

“The plan envisioned a substantial mixed-use ‘Village Centre’ with places to live, work, shop, and socialize, that will be the focal point of the community and would accommodate a range of residential housing forms, an elementary school, and an array of parks, pathways, and natural areas,” explains the report.

City staff believe that the design of the complex, which will include subtle and natural elements along with a variety of landscaping and green spaces, will be incorporated well into the neighbourhood.

When the application for this proposal was submitted in early June, the buildings would contain a variety of wood elements that are a nod to the train trestles in East Kelowna.

City staff are supportive of the application and are recommending city council to authorize the development permits. That decision will be made during Monday’s meeting at 1:30 pm.

Thumbnail photo credit: City of Kelowna

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