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‘Kelowna’s jewel’: Residents group wants redevelopment in Abbott heritage area scrapped

Given the number and scale of some Kelowna developments, the proposed construction of eight townhouse units near the hospital would seem inconsequential to most.

But that’s certainly not the case for the Kelowna South Central Association of Neighbourhoods (KSAN), a residents group that is fighting to see the project scrapped before it’s born.

The redevelopment is proposed for 2124 Pandosy St., which is home to the historic Cadder House.

Necessary Homes Ltd. doesn’t want to touch the heritage home, but instead is looking to knock down the coach house on the property to build a pair of fourplexes.

KSAN’s issue is that Cadder House falls within the Abbott Heritage Conservation Area, which was legally designated by the Local Government Act in the 1990s.

First laid out in 1904, the neighbourhood is characterised by heritage homes, green space and a large tree canopy.

“Many of the heritage homes have individual signs which describe the early community leaders who lived there and the architecture,” says KSAN President Susan Ames.

“The area also has a walking tour brochure. It attracts residents and tourists alike. Some people have described it as Kelowna's jewel.”

<who>Photo Credit: City of Kelowna/Necessary Homes Ltd.

This is not news to Necessary Homes, as the company penned a letter to the City of Kelowna’s planning department to address the site of their proposed fourplexes.

The letter, written by heritage consultant Elana Zysblat, claims that the redevelopment proposal aligns with the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada.

Zysblat points out that the context of the large estate has already been heavily altered through subdivision and infill of single-family homes over the decades.

The property hasn’t even had a Cadder Avenue address since 1950, when it was changed to a Pandosy Street address after two homes were constructed to its north.

Zysblat also notes that the design of the eight townhouse units is “compatible” to the historic house in its gable roofs and their pitch.

<who>Photo Credit: City of Kelowna/Necessary Homes Ltd.

“Historic properties should be able to thoughtfully change and evolve especially when these changes include relevant and sustainable uses,” she concludes in her letter.

“Although the introduction of townhouses may be perceived as too bold or dense to some, it aligns with heritage values of the property, its development history and follows the national standards for additions to historic places.”

Ames said KSAN is confident the City will support the heritage rules in place and protect the area, but is encouraging concerned residents to send a letter to mayor and council to voice their disapproval for the project.

The proposal is still in its earliest stages, as the application was accepted and circulated at city hall in October and has yet to go in front of council.

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