A New Single Family Neighbourhood
Building on Wilden’s Core Values
Twenty years after the master plan for Wilden was created and the first neighbourhoods built, we are returning to the area where we started. We now plan to complete what’s been on the drawing board from day one: the extension of Hidden Hills Drive and Union Road to the north and the development of the Hidden Hills Neighbourhood.
Nature Inspired Living
The characteristics of Hidden Hills are the very qualities that have made the Hidden Lake area such a desirable place to live: a neighbourhood park at the core, thriving wetlands to harbour diverse species, quiet cul-de-sacs for peaceful family living, looping roads flowing with the topography and lush green spaces to walk, linger in and connect with neighbours.
Over 100 building lots in various sizes will be located on terraces at varying elevations, many of them with views of the surrounding nature, valley or ponds. Two multi-family sites have also been planned, but will be developed in a later phase.
Hidden Hills – Part of the Master Plan
Once built out, Wilden will offer the balanced lifestyle our residents already enjoy today, but in full scale. Aside from single- and multifamily neighbourhoods, the master plan includes a cultural and economic centre within walking and biking distance, a network of paths and trails interlinked with a wildlife corridor, and over 50% of the land designated to park and natural open space. All these elements have been pre-planned as parts of a sustainable infrastructure. They are being established step by step, always with the big picture in mind.
The Hidden Hills area has been designated for residential development in the Area Structure Plan (ASP) that was approved by the City of Kelowna in 2001. Its rather coarse land use designations were adopted into the City’s Official Community Plan (OCP). Hidden Hills was zoned as part of the Phase 2 area of Wilden, which encompasses the existing neighbourhoods of Clear Pond, Upper Canyon, Skylands, Lost Creek, Forest Edge and Echo Ridge.
Why Rezone Hidden Hills?
While zoning is more detailed than OCP land use designations, the nitty-gritty is typically done during the final design of the neighbourhood. Often this design work results in an optimization of the existing zoning and adjustment of zoning boundaries, which requires City Council approval.
While designing Hidden Hills, we carried out a number of studies to ensure our new neighbourhood will meet the highest standards for sensitive development. Geotechnical, hydrogeological and environmental assessments led to a refinement of plans. We minimized the development footprint and increased parks and green space. Of note is a net gain of over 2 ha. in the areas zoned P3 to be preserved for park and natural open space.
Living Space – Not Just for Humans
In the course of our re-assessment we encountered an endangered bat called the little brown myotis. It happens that this rare species lives and forages in and around the rocky outcrops found in Hidden Hills. We made sure to protect this habitat and will be installing bat boxes for our precious neighbours.
A previously unidentified environmentally sensitive area was discovered during our assessments, and measures have been incorporated in the design to ensure its protection and preservation.
As with previous projects, we expect the flora and fauna in and around the two adjacent ponds of Hidden Hills to thrive as water levels will be maintained at an optimal height by way of a biofiltration stormwater inlet and controlled outlet. We will be constructing a “turtle tunnel”, an underpass beneath Hidden Hills Drive to ensure the safe passage of small wildlife. We will keep working closely with environmental experts to ensure a robust ecosystem for an abundance of species.
Access to Trails
We know that our Wilden residents love to hike the backcountry. At the existing end of Union Road and Begbie Road lies access to the network of trails to the Wilden Ridge, the eastern promontory and the lands beyond Wilden, including Stephens Coyote Ridge Regional Park. Eventually this access point will simply shift to the north, to the end of the newly extended Union Road.
During construction however, we need to close off the Hidden Hills area to keep the public safe.
Temporary access will be provided a bit further south down Union Road by improving an existing trail that climbs up the slope to the west and connects to the larger trail network. There is also an alternative trail further down Begbie Road, heading north, climbing up to the eastern promontory and connecting to the trail network there. Once we close off the construction area, signs will be installed to mark these trail heads.
The plans also identify two multi-family townhome projects. The central site climbs up a knoll and will provide beautiful valley views. The north-east site will probably have some smaller, more affordable townhouses.
Both of these projects are not part of the initial Hidden Hills neighbourhood and therefore not planned out in full detail yet.
Being a fully master-planned community, all infrastructure has always been designed to sustain the full buildout of Wilden, including traffic.
Wilden has an ongoing fire mitigation program. In the winter months we are thinning out forests and cleaning up debris in natural areas. The area around Hidden Hills will be assessed and work to mitigate wildfire risk will be completed in conjunction with development.
Naming the Twin Ponds
If you are a Wilden resident, we encourage you to help name the two ponds in Hidden Hills, currently labelled ponds 8b and 8c. Join the creative process here:
Send us your questions on Hidden Hills!
Please use the form below to submit your questions about Hidden Hills or the Wilden Master Plan, or send an email to [email protected]
All of us planning and growing Wilden are also residents. As your neighbours our wish is to cultivate an open dialogue and have everyone on board the journey of bringing a pioneering community concept to life.