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VIDEO: City of Kelowna urged to guard against the ugly results of halted building projects

For two years, the brick façade of a valued Kelowna heritage building has been standing in front of a halted construction project, with steel scaffolding in place to keep it upright.

Heritage buff Susan Ames, who ran for council in the last election, is getting tired of looking at what she describes as an "eyesore".

In an opinion letter published by KelownaNow, Ames made public she asked the question: 'How can a heritage building just be gutted and left for dead?'

The City of Kelowna's director of planning and development is calling for patience.

"Indications are the developer continues to work with an architect on what the development might look like," said Ryan Smith.

He seems confident while liquor licensing issues may have forced a halt to what was originally planned, the developer is not walking away.

Smith believes "Something nice will go there."

But Ames believes it's time to get protections in place for situations like this.

"It's kind of a pity what it looks like today," said Ames, looking at the wall of bricks and scaffolding behind her.

"It's been there for over two years looking like that."

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

She wants to see developers pay to have a bond in place to ensure that things get completed or cleaned up when a project stalls.

"So there's money to either reverse what they've done or finish the project," suggests Ames.

She said it's commonplace in the mining industry, so why not in growing cities like Kelowna?

"A bond would be an incentive to make sure they've got all their ducks in a row," said Ames.

Smith isn't buying it.

"I don't think it's possible," he said.

<who>Photo credit: NowMedia </who>

Smith said the city does take a performance bond on landscaping on public property and civil engineering, but he doesn't foresee such a thing on bricks and mortar construction.

"It's not feasible to go that far," he said.

But he reiterates that conversations are ongoing on what will eventually be built on the property, but it will take some time.

Any new plans are expected to go before city council before work could resume.

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