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Kelowna City Council was approached with a plan to redevelop the North End Community and the Mill Site area development yesterday.
The redevelopment of downtown has put pressure on the North to make additions to the existing community, especially after a large portion of the area remains empty with the lumber mill and railway shutting down.
Between Knox Mountain Park and the south of Clement Avenue, the north end neighbourhood contains a range of wartime residential housing, long time established industrial businesses, and a growing brewery district.
The empty lot of the Tolko Lumber Mill, and the adjacent BC Tree Fruits site listed for sale, begs for the exploration of re-developing the north end.
The North End Plan (NEP) is set to engage stakeholders on what will become of the mill site area, and if the future of industrial construction will continue on.
Like most plans the NEP will contain discussion on land use, for residential use, commercial use, heritage use, transportation, community needs, and public spaces and parks.
The four phase plan is expected to take about 18 months, and establish a proper vision of what will become of the area.
Creating the plan before a sale happens, will better shape the vision of the community.
A portion of the study will ensure the remediation of the mill site is checked on. Areas that are paved, covered by buildings, and water locked off shores will be supervised by the Ministry of Environment.
Typically urban centre plans rank higher than neighbourhood plans in priority, but the urgency to determine the future of the mill site is dire, as it's a rare and significant opportunity for the city.
“This is going to be absolutely fantastic. You know, obviously without any of the work having been done, I'm pretty sure access to the waterfront, great public parks and amenities are going to be front and centre in this process,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “Really excited about those opportunities for our community.”