I watched with apprehension as Kelowna city council moved forward with a modified version No. 3 plan for the North End earlier this week.
During the staff presentation, it was made clear there was no intention in this new plan to designate, and eventually purchase over time, waterfront land between Zegema Beach and the (former Tolko) mill site to the north and Rotary Marsh to the south, allowing for a complete public lakeshore between Knox Mountain and the William R. Bennett Bridge.
Given the enormous number of people who will move to the redeveloped north end over the coming decades, it would be a mistake to allow this valuable property to remain private in the hands of less than 30 homeowners, instead of the tens of thousands of new and current residents who would utilize the space.
I am particularly concerned that some elected officials believe a more direct walking route is possible under the current plan, where a path "comes into the neighbourhood and continues to wander through, down into the mill site".
Many residents will know there is very little view of the lake while walking along Abbott Street, where there is not already a park. That mistake should not be repeated in the North End.
It will take leadership to direct staff to take a hardline approach for planning purposes in the short-term, and continued leadership over decades to make this vision a reality. However, I believe it is in the best interest of our community, and I urge council to clarify its position on the matter.
Davis Kyle, Kelowna