Fate of historic home that houses Bogner's restaurant up for public debate Tuesday night in Penticton

Battle for Bogner's site

A soon-to-expire land use permit for the historic building that houses Bogner's restaurant and approval from Penticton council to discharge it early are all that stand in the way of development plans that would see it razed, all of which will be the topic of likely hot discussion at a public hearing Tuesday night.

In December, Penticton council approved necessary re-zoning and building permits for 302 Eckhardt, home of the detached 1912 Tudor-style single-family home that has been home to Bogner's of Penticton for decades, to allow a new developer to turn it into a three-storey commercial office building.

But city staff subsequently found, after consulting legal counsel, that a land use contract allowing the site to be used as a restaurant, and only as a restaurant, does not expire until 2024.

Given the fact that council already approved the plan before this new information came to light and the fact that all such land use contracts automatically expire in British Columbia next year, staff now recommend council authorize the discharge of the land use contract early.

Such a decision requires public input.

"Council should be aware there is no option to extend land use contracts beyond June 30, 2024, given that date is set by provincial legislation and there would be no authority for land use contracts to be in effect or valid beyond that date," staff explain in a report council will receive Tuesday.

The public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday evening, and if the letters and petitions that have already been received by the city that are wholly against redevelopment of the Bogner's building are any indication, council may have a lot to think about before making their decision.

A petition with dozens of signatures has been included in an information packet for council, opposing removing the land use contract, as well as multiple letters from citizens concerned by the idea of losing the historic building.

The public hearing starts at 6 p.m. in city council chambers at City Hall, open to the public, or can be viewed online at www.penticton.ca.

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