When will parks be built?

A big thank you to the Kelowna city staff and local developers who made presentations at the KLO Neighbourhood Association meeting recently.

They faced a large crowd of people, most of them very disappointed by the city's huge backlog of undeveloped parks. No politicians attended.

Kelowna (like most cities) charges real estate developers a fee to pay for public amenities that their new building's residents will be using, like roads, sewers, parks, etc. They're called Development Cost Charges or DCCs. 

In Kelowna, our politicians have chosen to collect parks DCCs that only apply to the purchase of land for any new parks. The cost of actually building those parks is left to us taxpayers. There's seldom enough money in the city budget to build even one park, never mind all of them. Hence the dozens of unbuilt parks here, including the one at Cedar Avenue, which has remained undeveloped for over 20 years.

Many other cities in B.C. and across Canada collect Community Amenity Contributions or CACs from developers, which deliver finished parks to those communities. It appears that Kelowna has had the option of having them here, but our politicians have so far refused them – in the middle of an unprecedented, very profitable building boom.

Our city politicians will soon be campaigning for the Oct. 20 election. Some good questions you could ask them: Why doesn't Kelowna have CACs and will we soon? When will my closest undeveloped park get built?

Al Janusas, Kelowna

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