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St. Paul's Church on Lakeshore Drive, Kelowna Getting Developed

Kelowna councillor, Robert Hobson, says he's excited about a proposed development on the St. Paul's Church site on Lakeshore Road.

The development, brought before council Monday, includes a four storey complex with parking on the first storey, commercial and retail on the second and 22 apartment units taking up the third and fourth storeys.

A new arts and worship centre, which would replace the church itself, would be located in the rear of the building.

"I think it's going to do great things for the South Pandosy neighbourhood," Hobson said of the project.

"It is a monumental effort to integrate the church into the community and to create a community facility that will be much used, I think, within the area. I really want to commend the group that's reached out to their neighbours and the community to have the courage to create a facility like this."

Hobson says the decision by the congregation on this new direction for the church is commendable.

"I know this is a real challenge within a congregation to come to a decision on the future use for a site and to reach out and involve the community the way they have is really commendable."

He says the proposed development will be unique within the community.

According to church officials the current St. Paul's United Church is in need of renewal.

In a document outlining the rationale for the development is was stated that 'changing dynamics due to a nationwide shift from conventional church operating structures, an aging congregation and an aging building which no longer reflects the core values or meets the needs of new ministry prompted renewal and pro-active vision.'

Council unanimously gave the project first reading Monday sending it to a Dec 3 public hearing.

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