Deterioration of the city

Contrary to what we are being told, I don’t believe our city (Kelowna) is growing sustainably.

As densities and noise-levels increase – quality of life decreases and every time we remove a piece of top-quality farm land from the ALR the inventory of agricultural land is reduced – forever.

The more compelling reason for having an Official Community Plan (OCP) was to have a well-thought out plan to ensure orderly short- and long-term growth and development of our community.

Greed and ignorance have destroyed that noble intent, while the rule book has been busted wide open for developers to exploit, and producing an OCP has become a colossal waste of time and money.

How could Mayor Colin Basran (and his council) possibly consider, let alone adopt, an OCP, when they do not know what the ambitions of the developers are, and their timelines, until they are told.

What should’ve been an OCP has become a fluid document tracking the variances issued to those developers.

Inadequate road systems around the new Costco store (on Baron Road) and the Orchard Park mall will become a total disaster, causing severe traffic congestion while increasing noise levels and pollution.

To accommodate the additional traffic generated by another 50,000 new citizens, Baron Road should be upgraded to at least four lanes, plus a centre turn-lane, with bike lanes in both directions.

Upgrading Leckie Road to four lanes, with no bike lanes on either side, is a clear signal somebody at City Hall is very confused.

Downtown Kelowna is now ranked as unsafe as other, bigger cities in Canada, with growing drug and criminal activities.

The police are wasting millions of dollars chasing criminals and re-locating street people who are living in our parks and our streets while the developers have the undivided attention of our city council.

Basran’s call to increase the numbers of Trudeau’s disabled RCMP is severely misplaced.

What we desperately need is a city police force to work with our by-laws department to make our streets and homes safe again and recruitment should start now.

The 10-year capital budget for community infrastructure should also have included a world-class cultural centre to serve the Okanagan valley into the future.

The 6,000-square-feet on Doyle is Mickey Mouse at work at city hall, demonstrating an incredible lack of vision for the cultural needs of our community.

Contemplating the ever-increasing noise-levels, the out-of-control social and criminal issues and a lack of by-law enforcement, it’s tempting to suggest (city council) will allow our beautiful city to continue to deteriorate.

Andy Thomsen, Kelowna

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