Kelowna planning staff come out against 26 storeys on Prospera Place site

Planners reject height

UPDATE 10:10 a.m. Thursday

The item pertaining to GSL's request to increase height on property in front of Prospera Place has been pulled from Monday's city council agenda at the request of the applicant.

There's no indication the reason for the request to pull the item.

Castanet has reached out to GSL for comment.

ORIGINAL 5 p.m. Wednesday

Residential towers reaching 26 storeys in the Prospera Place parking lot is more than city planning staff are willing to approve.

Planning staff have come down against a proposal by GSL Group, operators of the arena, for a three tower development on the front facing parking lot with building heights of 13, 22 and 26 storeys.

GSL is seeking a text amendment to increase the maximum allowable height from 12 to 26 storeys.

While the application has just recently been brought forward, staff are recommending the "early consideration" process in order to receive direction from council on projects that "push the boundaries" of what city policy and staff can support.

"The current development proposal does not include publicly accessible parking for the arena but does meet the minimum vehicle and bicycle parking for the proposed development," staff write in their report.

"If council supports the height increase from 12 to 26 storeys, the applicant is willing to discuss including approximately 100 parkade stalls within a floor of underground parking which may be accessible to the public.

"The development of this parcel will see the removal of 233 surface parking stalls."

Staff further state, the property which is zoned for development, should enhance the long-term viability and successful operation of an updated arena.

"The current proposal does not complement or positively interact with the arena and staff are concerned about current and future impacts on the surrounding blocks, streets and the ArtWalk.

"The proposal is a large residential development asking for height increases without any guarantee of public parking provisions for the arena."

Staff suggest development of the property could include an office tower in addition to residential or hotel uses since a parkade could accommodate daytime office users while providing evening and weekend area user parking.

Further, staff write the proposal presents numerous technical challenges regarding zoning regulations, site coverage and OCP policies.

The overall development would include 457 units.

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