A concept rendering of the proposed Costco at the corner of Baron, Leckie and Springfield roads. (WSP Global)

A concept rendering of the proposed Costco at the corner of Baron, Leckie and Springfield roads. (WSP Global)

Contentious Kelowna Costco relocation moved to public hearing

Costco looking to move less than a kilometre away to build a larger store with more parking, gas bar

Costco has cleared the first hurdle in its controversial effort to relocate within Kelowna.

City council gave first reading to rezoning and Official Community Plan (OCP) amendment applications for the contentious move at its Monday, Nov. 23 meeting. The applications will now move to what is anticipated to be a busy public hearing next month.

The new proposed location in a six-hectare property at the corner of Leckie, Baron and Springfield roads is a short 770 metres away from the big box store’s current location along Highways 97 and 33 but will allow for a larger building, with more parking and a gas bar.

Despite the short move, city planning manager Ryan Smith said the application was complex to process in terms of traffic impact.

“This area, being the hourglass through the middle of our city, is a busy area,” he said. “Intersections in this area are nearing or at capacity in a number of cases without Costco.”

Bringing Costco in, Smith said, adds a number of trips through that corridor. Because of that, Costco has agreed to pay around $2.5 million for several road improvements in the area. However, Smith noted, Costco “can’t fund every single improvement in the area” and some will fall to other developments and the city.

Smith said the development would not compromise city objectives in the mid-town urban centre. Giving a peek as to what the soon-to-release 2040 OCP will look like, Smith said the city anticipates further densification of the mid-town area, with a goal of 1,100 new units in the area and potentially upwards of 2,000.

“In terms of our urban centre hierarchy, mid-town probably the furthest behind in terms of becoming a true urban centre,” he said. “That’s another reason we considered this site.

“We don’t believe it’s a major compromise … There are a number of other opportunities to achieve the density that we’d anticipated in the area over the life of the OCP.”

Smith also noted that if in the future, Costco vacates the site, it would be easy to redevelop for more high-density housing.

Regardless of the assurances from council of Costco-funded road improvements, councillors still mirrored community concerns regarding traffic. Councillors Loyal Wooldridge and Charlie Hodge hesitated in giving their support to the first reading but wanted the matter to move to a public hearing so the community would be able to give its input.

The public hearing is scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8. To allow for proper social distancing for the high number of people expected to show up, the city said it is hoping to allow up to 50 people to view the deliberation from the Kelowna Community Theatre across the street, entering council chambers when it’s their time to speak.

READ MORE: Pandosy waterfront park makeover in the works

READ MORE: McDonald’s demolition begins

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

City of Kelowna

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
253 new COVID-19 cases, 4 more deaths in Interior Health over the weekend

More than 1,000 cases in the region remain active

Sunnybank
COVID-19 related deaths at Vernon, West Kelowna and Vernon senior care homes

Sunnybank, Heritage Retirement Residence and Noric House recorded deaths over the weekend

A portion of 34th Street will be closed to through traffic as of Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, while sewer upgrades are underway. (City of Vernon)
Sewer upgrades to close Vernon road

Motorists are to expect some delays around portion of 34th Street starting Wednesday

This dog is going to the SPCA if its owner isn't found. (RDNO Dog Control photo)
Owners sought after dog ‘dumped’ near Vernon school

Pup is now either getting adopted or going to the SPCA

A member of the M.V. Beattie Elementary School community tested positive for COVID-19, according to a statement issued Jan. 17, 2021. (photo submitted)
COVID-19 exposure at Enderby elementary

Member of school community tests positive for virus

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C. adjusts COVID-19 vaccine rollout for delivery slowdown

Daily cases decline over weekend, 31 more deaths

Interior Health declared the COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place long term care home over Monday, Jan. 18, 2020. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at McKinney Place care home declared over

‘This has been one of our most challenging outbreaks so far,’ says chief medical health officer

Penticton Bylaw officer Glenn Smith, as well as resident Zak Laycock (not pictured), received the Governor General Award from the Royal Canadian Humane Association to recognize their heroism in a summer 2019 incident. (Contributed)
Bylaw officer and Penticton resident given awards for intervening in sexual assault

Bylaw officer Glenn Smith said he was simply in the right place at the right time

A female prisoner sent Langford police officers a thank-you card after she spent days in their custody. (Twitter/West Shore RCMP)
Woman gives Victoria-area jail 4.5-star review in handwritten card to police after arrest

‘We don’t often get thank you cards from people who stay with us, but this was sure nice to see’: RCMP

An elk got his antlers caught up in a zip line in Youbou over the weekend. (Conservation Officer Service Photo)
Elk rescued from zip line in Youbou on Vancouver Island

Officials urge people to manage items on their property that can hurt animals

An Abbotsford man was killed in a motor vehicle accident on Highway 3 on Monday, Jan. 18. (Black Press file photo)
Abbotsford man killed in Highway 3 crash near Hedley

Fatality was discovered by passing tow truck driver

A Trail man has a lucky tin for a keepsake after it saved him from a stabbing last week. File photo
Small tin in Kootenay man’s jacket pocket saved him from stabbing: RCMP

The man was uninjured thanks to a tin in his jacket

Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation Chantel Moore, 26, was fatally shot by a police officer during a wellness check in the early morning of June 4, 2020, in Edmundston, N.B. (Facebook)
Frustrated family denied access to B.C. Indigenous woman’s police shooting report

Independent investigation into B.C. woman’s fatal shooting in New Brunswick filed to Crown

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Dezi, a Delta police dog, retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

Most Read