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Apartment replacing Rutland heritage building underwhelms Kelowna council

“We are a world-class community and I expect world-class type designs.”
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A fire broke out at Sproul Farm House on Sunday, Oct. 18 2020. (Phil McLachlan/Capital News)

Kelowna council is less than impressed with plans for a rental apartment building on the site where a heritage building once stood in Rutland.

The Sproul farmhouse, which sat at the corner of Highway 33 and Sadler Road, was heavily damaged by fire in 2020.

At a public hearing Tuesday (July 12), several councillors criticized the development for a lack of acknowledgement to heritage and little amenity space.

“I’m not fond of how we’ve nodded to the heritage aspect,” said Coun. Loyal Wooldridge. “We’ve heard numerous times from heritage consultants that we shouldn’t try and replicate what was there in new form.”

The development at 145 Sadler Road is a five-storey, mixed-use building with 86 residential and two commercial units. It includes heritage murals and interpretive panels about Sproul House, as well as a bay window salvaged from the fire that will be used on the facade of the new building and feature a model of the farmhouse.

Conceptual rendering of development planned for Sadler Road and Highway 33. (Photo/City of Kelowna)
Conceptual rendering of development planned for Sadler Road and Highway 33. (Photo/City of Kelowna)

“I like the general design,” said Mayor Colin Basran. “But the heritage aspect is a big miss for me.”

Coun. Charlie Hodge was the only councillor to vote against moving the project forward.

“We are a world-class community and I expect world-class type designs. It doesn’t wow me.”

Despite criticism of the development, several councillors spoke about the need for rental units in the city.

“It’s nice to see some densification of our town centre of Rutland,” said Coun. Luke Stack. “We’ve been looking for that for a long time.”

Council has approved rezoning the property to allow the project to move ahead.

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@GaryBarnes109
gary.barnes@kelownacapnews.com

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Gary Barnes

About the Author: Gary Barnes

Journalist and broadcaster for three decades.
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