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

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

Snowboarders at Revelstoke Mountain Resort heading for the gondola. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
Updated: Another 16 COVID-19 cases for Revelstoke

The cases were identified between Jan. 3 and 9

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

A performance by Alex Cuba will be streaming live on Arts Revelstoke platforms on Feb. 12, 2021. (Photo by Jeff Fasano, submitted by Arts Revelstoke)
Arts Revelstoke hosting virtual performances and movies this season

REVY. Live and Movies in the Mountains is returning

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

Seasonal influenza vaccine is administered starting each fall in B.C. and around the world. (Langley Advance Times)
After 30,000 tests, influenza virtually nowhere to be found in B.C.

COVID-19 precautions have eliminated seasonal infection

Most Read