News

Sticky situation around Lucaya development

Some of  Kelowna's hotspots have been haunted by an homage to the recession.

Eateries with balconies on Sunset Drive are regularly offered a sticky reminder of the Lucaya high-rise project, which failed when funding fell through in 2008.

Each time the wind kicks up, explained  Rob Mayne the city's director of corporate services, the crane used to build the 21-storey building into the sky is blown over area businesses.

Trouble is, pigeons and other birds of flight  have taken to living on the crane, said Mayne.

"The excrement commonly drops on the neighbouring properties," he said. "Several of those properties have outdoor patios."

That, in addition to the fact lax security lures transients and vandals to the site, prompted city officials to deem it a public nuisance.

That gives Lucaya's owner corporation, Platinum Equities, 30 days to deal with the issue before the city takes over themselves.

Only hitch in the plan is that Osprey have nested in the crane's arm.

"We don't have authority to remove those nests, hence we can't take down the crane in its entirety," said Mayne, noting city staff have spoken to the crane-owner, and they've offered tips on how to go forward.

"We feel that if we can remove the first 15 meters of this structure, we should resolve the problem in October when the birds go south and it's all resolved."

While declaring the site a nuisance will allow staff to get to the bottom of a four-year long problem, it's also prompted action on another problem.

City staff have asked to look into creating a policy to deal with derelict construction sites.

It's something that's yet to exist, despite projects that have sat empty and created a public nuisance for years at a time.

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