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Why this entire Kelowna street of single family homes is for sale

Houses with for sale signs on McDonald Road, backing Asher Road in Rutland.
Houses with for sale signs on McDonald Road, backing Asher Road in Rutland.

- This story was originally published June 21, 2022.

With plans for Kelowna's Rutland area to densify, for sale signs dot nearly every home on one of its streets.

Many of the homes, built in the 1960s, have been slated for re-development. Some of the owners have no problem selling to a developer, while others feel forced out because they don’t want to see their quiet neighbourhood become apartments.

In Kelowna’s 2040 Official Community Plan, the Rutland neighbourhood is listed as an urban centre. The street, McDonald Road, is slated for four-storey apartments while locations closer to Highway 33 and Roxby Road in Rutland could see apartments up to 12 storeys high. 

Seven homes on McDonald Road are for sale as one unit for $9.4 million, together making 1.2 acres, for future redevelopment, according to a Century 21 real estate listing. An additional home, not part of the listing, is also for sale, as are most of the homes across the street.

A home for sale as part of the McDonald Road development.
A home for sale as part of the McDonald Road development.

For Frank, a resident who has lived on McDonald Road for the last 46 years and who declined to give his last name, it’s a sign of the changing times.

READ MORE: Kelowna residents say quality of life is getting worse: city survey

“I don’t want to move but if that’s the case, you have to go with the flow basically,” he said. “The Mission is getting full and you can only build so many apartments and land is hard to get out there… for cheap land, for development, this is the way it has to go.”

Frank plans to stay in Rutland, as more development occurs and more apartments are built and the airport grows.

“You're five minutes away from the airport and the amenities are getting closer,” he said. “You can’t stop promoting the area. There’s developers that want to come in and introduce more housing, I hope it’s reasonable housing for whoever comes in here but that’s not for me to say.”

Celine Schaad has lived on the street for 60 years, in the same home since she was 18.

She doesn’t feel comfortable with the development in Rutland but she was forced to sell as she doesn’t want to be wedged between two apartments, she said.

Schaad also doesn’t want the sale to fall apart because of her.

“Where to go? I have no idea. My husband is in a care home up the road and I’ve been left to deal with this myself,” she said.

Grant Badger has no problem with selling his home after living in it for 22 years.

“The neighbourhood is fine. It’s good for a young family but my kids have grown up and sort of at that time where we need to move on and find something a little more upscale,” he said.

His home is from the 1960s and it needs more upkeep, he said. He’ll also make more money selling his home to a developer than if he sold it independently.

“We’re going to upgrade. It’s easier to do it with developer money than a private sale,” he said, adding the for-sale signs were put up a few weeks ago and developers have been looking at the properties.

A new zoning bylaw to change the neighbourhood and others in the city from single-family homes to mixed-use zone to allow for future densification is going to a public hearing, on June 21.

Community planning manager Ryan Smith said the rezoning is a response to the housing crisis ongoing in the city.

“We’re trying to make it easier to (build) housing quicker in some of these neighbourhoods that need density,” he said. “We actually prefer to see larger blocks of properties consolidate than fewer so whoever buys those properties and does a bit of a larger development, that usually helps because it’s more efficient.”

More apartments and density can be expected in the city's five urban zones: the City Centre, Capri-Landmark, South Pandosy, Rutland and Midtown.

READ MORE: Kelowna group seeking unique answers to solving housing crisis

“You keep hearing housing crisis, housing crisis, housing crisis, there’s not enough affordable housing, so we’re trying to make it easier for property owners in the city to add housing of all types,” Smith said. “Whether it’s high rises, four-storey buildings or four-plexes, we’re trying to make it all easier in those spots.”

The area is ideal for an urban centre because it’s close to elementary schools, parks and good road access to transit.

“Gradually the infrastructure that isn’t there gets built there in the future,” he said.

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