Development Changes at Hiawatha RV Park Site
Site Transformation: Edmonton-based Westcorp seeks approval to amend the multi-building development on the former Hiawatha RV Park site. The current proposal outlines two of the planned condo buildings to be raised from 11 to 17 storeys, exceeding the current zoning cap, which permits a maximum of 11 storeys.
Debate and Changes: Councillor Charlie Hodge voted against these changes, emphasizing the prolonged debate and shifting nature of the development. The property has witnessed numerous adjustments over the years, eliciting concerns from the public about the project’s evolving character.
Differing Views: While some council members, including Mayor Colin Basran, felt that the project hadn’t undergone multiple changes, Hodge expressed his apprehensions about the development’s trajectory. Despite these reservations, the proposed height change was supported by the entire council for public hearing consideration.
All-Rental Development: Westcorp’s revised plans entail that the entire development will consist of rental units. While there were questions about short-term rentals, the staff indicated none were proposed. Councillor Gail Given noted that under current zoning, hotels are allowed, potentially enabling short-term rentals.
Praising the Transformation: The revised plans for this Lakeshore Road development gained approval from Kelowna city council. The adjusted height limits now allow for two 17-storey and one 14-storey buildings. The focus on rental properties, the creation of a linear park along Wilson Creek, and the significant revenue contribution for developing new parkland garnered praise from council members.
Community of Tomorrow: Councillor Luke Stack acknowledged community concerns but underlined that the project would create a vibrant community in the years to come. Purpose-built rental properties at various price points align with the city’s housing objectives, said Councillor Loyal Wooldridge, adding that Kelowna continually grapples with accommodating its growing population.
Improved Design: The development’s changes were described as a “dramatic improvement” by Coun. Ryan Donn. The project’s transition from initial plans was met with enthusiasm.
Construction Underway: Westcorp has secured a building permit for the second phase of the Hiawatha RV Park redevelopment, valued at approximately $35 million. The project includes three towers, one of which is 17 storeys tall. This phase also necessitates the construction of a roundabout and a bridge.
Project Overview: The entire Hiawatha development will encompass over 1,000 residential units, with ground-oriented townhouses, commercial space, high-rise, and mid-rise buildings.
Continuous Development: Westcorp’s aim with this project is to create and manage one of the finest rental communities in the country, emphasizing their expertise in developing and managing large rental communities for over 40 years.
Master Development Agreement: The city is set to enter into a Master Development Agreement to guide the future development of the site, focusing on adjacent offsite works that would be attached to phase three. This includes infrastructure, roads, and other essential components.
Policy Alignment: The project aligns with the city’s policies for the Cook-Truswell area and village center, incorporating a new commercial node along Lakeshore Road, improved accessibility to Wilson Creek Linear Park, and substantial urban plazas and landscaping. It also adheres to the Official Community Plan’s policies for growth along transit-supportive corridors and housing diversity promotion. The project’s location provides easy access to transportation and supports various modes of commuting to schools, commercial areas, and recreational facilities.
This comprehensive project signifies an effort to provide more housing options, improve urban spaces, and enhance the quality of life for Kelowna’s residents.