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VIDEO: Downtown high-rises and neighbourhood strip malls could be in store for West Kelowna

City staff call it a "preferred growth concept".

For residents of West Kelowna, it means big changes could be on the way.

The concept includes higher-density housing and more strip malls in neighbourhoods.

The example cited in the report to council is Lakeview Village Mall in Lakeview Heights.

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow

The report suggests similar neigbourhood developments could end up in places like Shannon Lake and Rose Valley, Gellatly, and Goats Peak.

The vision calls for higher density and buildings up to six stories in the Boucherie Urban Centre with highrises reaching 12 storeys in the Westbank Urban Centre.

But council embraces that last idea, they may find some resistance.

When KelownaNow asked people in the downtown area about the thought of 12 storey buildings there was very little support.

"We wouldn't be able to see the mountains anymore," said one man in the downtown.

"As long as the highway is still running through here, I fail to see the purpose," said a woman. "It's not going to draw anybody to the centre of the city as long as the highway is barreling through both ways."

"I think people come here to enjoy the fact that there aren't 12 storey buildings said another.

The report to council argues that it would "create a focal point for growth in the heart of the community."

And growth seems certain.

<who>Photo credit: KelownaNow </who>

The population of West Kelowna is expected to grow from 37,000 to close to 50,000 over the next 20 years.

If approved by council, the Growth Concept would help shape land-use policies in the future, but it is just a concept.

It's expected that it would evolve and be refined over time.



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