EDITORIAL: Managing the building boom

We are living through a remarkable transformation of Kamloops, block by block and neighbourhood by neighbourhood.

Some is strikingly obvious. Some is more subtle.

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But the landscape of the city is changing every day. We can see it as we commute to work each day and we can see it in the eye-popping building-permit numbers. Every year, it seems, nudges another record.

Be it the increasing number of government-funded affordable-housing projects or government-aided seniors’ housing plans or private equity giving entire areas facelifts, the transformation of the Tournament Capital continues.

Residential areas from Westsyde to Aberdeen and from Batchelor to Valleyview continue to expand, while Arpa Investments’ and the Kelson Group’s multi-million-dollar vision for the North Shore and downtown, respectively, will continue to unfold before our eyes as the months and years pass.

During the recent civic election, some candidates mentioned red tape at city hall, arguing it takes too long for permits to be approved for various projects by developers.

We think speeding up the process should be a goal, but not at the expense of tossing oversight out the window.

The Penny Pinchers property at Fortune Drive and Eighth Street is a good example.

For the past few years, the city and property owner have not been able to agree on what will rise at the second-busiest intersection in Kamloops, a plot of land that will serve as the north entrance to the rapidly developing Tranquille Market.

While a stunning new development — perhaps a popular restaurant or pub anchoring other tenants? — is desirable, whatever rises there needs to mesh with KamPlan and the North Shore Towne Centre vision.

Sometimes, it makes sense to take some time because once a project is built, there are no second chances.

© Kamloops This Week


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