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VIDEO: Waterfront walkway connection unclear in city's North End planning

Kelowna is moving to the next stage in developing a new development plan for the city's North End.

But it's what isn't in the plans that's getting a lot of attention.

At its Monday morning meeting this week, Kelowna Council unanimously endorsed the recommendations of staff on how the North End neighbourhood should evolve in the years ahead.

"To give some level of comfort," said Mayor Tom Dyas in an interview Tuesday.

After a period of public consultation, staff presented three options for council to pursue.

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia

The recommended option and the one chosen by council (option 3) intensifies re-development on the western and southern edges of the area.

The plan also includes new green space, endorses a new school and identifies the need for a grocery store for more self-sufficiency.

"And whatever amenities we can build in there so that it's just comfortable living for residents," explained the mayor.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kelowna

What isn't exactly clear is how people might walk or ride along the waterfront and connect to Sutherland Bay and Knox Mountain Parks.

"It was one of the requests that council had is that when staff come back," said Dyas.

"To look at that accessibility so it's an easy flow all the way from downtown right to Knox Mountain."

Standing in the way of a lakefront walkway are a dozen or more homes at Manhattan Point.

<who> Photo Credit: City of Kelowna

Questions have been raised about the city employing the 'buy-sever-and-sell' method to set aside a waterfront path in that area.

But there's no such element in the plans.

"We asked staff to give us a greater understanding of what they're looking for in that particular area," said Dyas.

"Whether it be that the walkway is along the water in that particular area or whether it more comes into the neighbourhood and continues to wander down to the mill site."

<who> Photo Credit: NowMedia <who> Aerial view of former Tolko mill site.

So staff has been asked for more information on the topic.

"Just for greater clarity," said the mayor.

It's expected this missing piece of the puzzle might become clearer when staff comes back before council with a draft of a final plan in the first quarter of 2024.

More information on the different options brought before council can be found here.



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