April 30, 2013 - 7:50 AM
A century old building in South Central Kelowna may soon open its doors to a new generation of tenants. Kelowna city councillors are considering an application that would designate the Elliott Street Copeland House a heritage site while also re-opening the building's rental apartments.
The two and a half storey wood-frame house sitting at 784 Elliott St. was built in 1907 by Bob Copeland, one of the Okanagan's first land developers. Back in those days, the only surrounding structures were the Copeland family farm and ice house.
In 1942 new owners re-modelled the building into eight separate suites to provide extra accomodation during the WWII housing shortage. It was re-named "The Elliott Apartments."
Today the building is recognized as historically significant but not an official heritage site. The current owner is seeking city approval to go ahead with extensive renovations to preserve the building's historical character for future residents.
A two-step rehabilitation project would first reverse the decay of the building, bringing it in line with safety standards. The second phase would see an additional three-unit building go up in the backyard of the property.
City councillors will give the project a public hearing to determine whether it merits an exception to current zoning regulations. At last night's council meeting Coun. Gail Given pointed out the excessive density of the project.
“It will support far more units than zoning permits," she said. "I see the potential for larger units than currently exist and larger site coverage than currently exists."
The owner is proposing six rental suites where existing laws only permit one or two-unit residences on Elliott Street. The building currently houses 10 'illegal' suites that date back to the 1940s, long before modern building regulations were in place.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013