Controversial lot in heritage area will be allowed to be subdivided

Heritage lot becomes 2

Kelowna city council has gone against the wishes of neighbours and heritage groups by allowing the owners of a property on Park Avenue to subdivide the property.

The home on the corner of Park Avenue and Long Street was the subject of much debate earlier this year when the owners asked for, and were granted a permit to demolish the heritage home which sat on the property.

They stated at the time they planned to construct a new home with heritage characteristics in keeping with the Abbott Street heritage conservation area.

During a public hearing earlier this week, a number of people spoke out against the application, citing a degradation of the heritage area, while claiming the owner had ulterior motives in the demolition, and subsequent subdivision application.

"I was disappointed to hear people misaligning other people's motives tonight," said Coun. Luke Stack, stating it's impossible to know what is inside someone else's mind.

"To bring up, and suggest people have certain motives I think is improper."

Stack said it was suggested the city would be creating a slippery slope by allowing the subdivision, believing it would create a lineup of people buying heritage homes, knocking them down because they don't meet today's standards, and create a bunch of lots.

"I have not seen that. I have seen a lot of improvements in the area.

"I have no problem with a modern heritage home."

Coun. Gail Given, who stated issues brought up by many in the gallery did not pertain to the matter at hand, says the size of lot does not make the application inconsistent.

"Dimensions of both lots would meet the city's RU1 requirements," she said.

"This is fully supportable."

Mayor Colin Basran said when looking at lot sizes around the neighbourhood, he couldn't see how this subdivision would negatively impact the conservation area.

He stated the lot sizes would be equal to most other lots within the area.

Council voted 8-1 to allow for the subdivision, with only Coun. Charlie Hodge voting against.

Ironically, another application for a property across the street from the Park Avenue property will come before council at the Aug. 25 public hearing.

However, in this case, the owner will keep the heritage home intact, but seek rezoning in order to construct a second family home and detached garage at the rear of the property.

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