Kelowna Legacy Group pushes vision for downtown

Legacy vision gains traction

A Kelowna business group that is pitching an ambitious vision for the downtown "civic precinct" says its call to slow down redevelopment of the old RCMP site in favour of a grander project is gaining traction.

The Kelowna Legacy Group says more than 340 Facebook users have signed up in support of its page, 124 of those in just the last three days.

In a letter issued Thursday, the group revealed its Four Main Pillars strategy and clarified its position, announced last week, that would see an 11-storey hotel/condo complex with parking and commercial on the former detachment site, a new, state-of-the-art performance centre on what is now the City Hall parking lot, a community centre on the Kelowna Community Theatre site and mixed-public-use complex where Memorial Arena currently stands.
The group says it sent a response to the city's request for proposals to HM Commercial Real Estate on Sept. 30. On Oct. 1, it forwarded the same proposal to all members of council. The Legacy Group publicly announced its vision on Oct. 3.

The group wants the city to hit "pause on the sale of the old RCMP until further community input is received on an overall vision and not to sell/lease it in pieces."

Its four pillars for discussion of the eight-acre civic precinct are:

  • PAUSE: wants council to pause the sale or leasing of the old RCMP site for up to one year.
  • BENCHMARK: take 12 months to allow residents to look other waterfront communities to benchmark best practices that put cultural districts on the map.
  • TOGETHER WITHOUT RECRIMINATIONS: Kelowna is a drastically different place going into 2020 than it was in 2015. The group says Sharron Simpson has indicated that the Simpson family will not raise legal objections to a multi-use, large-scale development here, as long as it complies with the spirit of the Community Trust Lands covenant or "Simpson Covenant" as it is known.
  • OPPORTUNITY: This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the Mayor and our Councilors to leave the most iconic legacy for our grandchildren. We want our civic leaders to lead us in seizing this moment to pause, assess best practice, and unite with a common purpose for our city’s future. 

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