Kelowna city council approves new low rise development at Water and Leon

Will pizza rise at Wedge?

As expected, city council gave its unanimous approval for a new iteration of The Wedge at the corner of Water Street and Leon Avenue.

The two-storey building at the busy intersection will sit atop an odd, and narrow wedge-shaped piece of property.

Owners revamped the original six-storey design given lukewarm approval from council and push back from some neighbours two years ago.

"When this came with six storeys, I didn't like it. I didn't like anything about it," said Coun. Maxine DeHart, mentioning height, design, and the lack of a parking plan.

"This is perfect. It is going to be a nice addition."

City planner Terry Barton told council owners of the property are seeking out a cafe or restaurant to occupy the building.

He says the bottom floor will consist of just one commercial space while the second floor acting as a mezzanine attached to presumably a restaurant or cafe.

Similar to the first application, parking on the tiny property is not being offered, however, unlike the initial iteration, Barton says the owners have agreed to pay $66,000 cash-in-lieu of parking for two stalls that will not be provided.

When asked about a lack of parking, Barton suggested this would not be any different than any other restaurant on Bernard or Water Street that also does not provide parking.

"When we think of parking in a more suburban context that does require large surface parking lots to support, I would suggest this is a more downtown urban type restaurant and the parking in lieu will go to support many of the city's investments in the Chapman parkade and some of the other parking downtown,"said Barton.

"There are other ways for people to arrive in the downtown core and the cash in lieu payment is the symbolic gesture of supporting those investments."

Coun. Brad Sieben, also an opponent of the first design, said the building will finish off a key corner of the city, especially with the development taking place across the street on Leon.

"The only question now is to determine whether this will focus on pizza, being called The Wedge," he joked.

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