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CD-21 zone school begins Monday morning for Kelowna city councillors

Sunday, March 28th, 2010 | 3:34 pm

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Artists renditions of the controversial comprehensive development zone. (Graphic City of Kelowna)

By John McDonald

Kelowna city councillors will sit through another session of CD-21 zone school Monday morning, as staff begins the review of the controversial downtown revitalization plan.

The meeting, lead by director of real estate and building services Doug Gilchrist, is the second of three where councillors are free to ask the questions of staff that they couldn’t before the second and third readings of the development bylaw were rescinded last month.

Of particular interest to councillors is the location of a proposed luxury hotel. In its current location in the concept plans, the park encroaches on city park land, something a majority of councillors have said they object to.

Density and height are also expected to generate some scrutiny, tied as they are to the project’s amenities package, which includes an expanded public plaza, a marina, pedestrian-only walkways and other green spaces.

Mayor Sharon Shepherd, in particular, has said she want consideration of a district energy plan for the redevelopment, a green initiative that would see heat exchange techology used to control temperature in the project’s buildings.

However Coun. Andre Blanleil has warned against any real change to the plan claiming it will be a deal-breaker that will push the CD-21 zone back to square one, forcing another public consultation process and delaying the project for a decade. He has the support of Coun. Luke Stack and Graeme James, who have both urged fellow councillors to get on with the project as is.

Still, the three are outnumbered by their counterparts, some of whom were elected shortly after a lengthy and contentious public hearing held in 2008.

That left Coun. Charlie Hodge, Angela Reid and Kevin Craig unable to hear new information or ask questions of staff during the 14 months it took the Ministry of Transportation to sign off on the required road changes for the project.

The process, beset as it has been by delays, has split those in the community that care about these things down the middle, with some urging the CD-21 zone be pushed ahead immediately and others arguing that it should be scrapped altogether.

Monday’s CD-21 zone workshop is open to the public, but will be held after an in-camera session beginning at 8:15 a.m. in council chambers at Kelowna City Hall 1435 Water Street.

CD-21 zone school begins Monday morning for Kelowna city councillors1.051

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