The Story of Wilden’s Masterplan
When a piece of land north of downtown Kelowna became available to purchase in the mid 90s, Gerhard Blenk and his family, who loved the Okanagan Valley, did not hesitate. Over the course of five years they assembled, piece by piece, what would later become Wilden. It is a challenging topography to develop, but the Wilden founder and his team did not rest until there was a master plan in place that satisfied their vision.
“For me, the challenge is finding the right balance between creativity and beauty on one side of the scale and regulations and economics on the other.”
“I know at the end of the day there will be some financial profit, but the greatest profit will be to look at some beautiful subdivisions surrounded by preserved green space.”
(1940 – 2022)
Taking time to get it right
As our special community continues to grow, how have we stayed true to the Blenk Family’s original vision of Wilden?
In the early 1990’s, the Blenk family began to assemble parcels of land in the Glenmore Highlands. Some had approved zoning, some were unzoned. The need to integrate these parcels was the beginning of our work with Ekistics Town Planning of Vancouver.
What we realized early on was zoning issues would prevent a core concept for Wilden: a blend of single-family homes, townhomes and condos.
Our core concept for Wilden included a mix of single and multifamily neighbourhoods with a Village Center at the core to bring neighbours together.
What did we do?
Over the course of two years, we worked with Ekistics to develop an entirely new Area Structure Plan (ASP) that included:
Hillside road standards for a smaller environmental footprint
A village centre and commercial plaza near a central pond
An elementary school
Pockets of different types of housing
A wide wildlife corridor, and plenty of green space and parks
This ASP, first incorporated in Kelowna’s 20-year Official Community Plan (OCP), was recently reaffirmed in the city’s 2040 OCP.
We’ve made small changes along the way, making use of new survey data and adapting to changing markets and politics. And yet, as one community comes to life, and then another, we’re so proud of the work that’s been done to follow our masterplan and our founder’s vision.
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