Council sold on auction house

Pentictonites appear to be getting a new place to purchase discounted or second-hand merchandise. You need only raise your hand.

  • Feb. 15, 2011 5:00 p.m.

Pentictonites appear to be getting a new place to purchase discounted or second-hand merchandise. You need only raise your hand.

Penticton council unanimously endorsed a temporary permit for Bruce Mortensen to open an auction house at 825 Westminster Ave. West in the building previously used by Unity House.

The space is currently designated as a tourist commercial zone, however, the city’s manager of planning Anthony Haddad said the temporary permit would allow Mortensen to operate the auction business for up to three years, at which point he would have to reapply.

“Staff consider the proposed indoor auction facility is a reasonable temporary use of the property as an interim measure prior to the eventual redevelopment of the site,” Haddad said.

Because the site is located in a key entranceway to the city along Westminster Avenue, Haddad said that staff worried the business might leave items outside. However, a condition that no outdoor storage or displays be permitted would alleviate those concerns, he said.

Coun. Dan Albas added that such violations could be addressed by bylaw officers.

“I’m sure as a good neighbour that the owners would try to work within the rules. I have no doubt of that,” said Albas who has visited the site.

“Right now the building is empty. It is not good when you first come into a community to see empty doors,” Albas said. “Looking at some of the other uses that could go on at the site, I don’t think an auction house is out of the ordinary. I would much rather see some activity happening there and our economy increased.

“They are looking to run a good and strong business. So why wouldn’t we want to have that?”

The public can provide input on the application at the Feb. 21 council meeting.

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