A proposal to turn the land parcels that formerly housed the notorious Highland Motel and an RV park into high-end townhomes is making its debut before council this week.
Azura Management (Kelowna) Corp., one of two companies behind Sendero Canyon, is planning to turn 1140 Burnaby Avenue, formerly the Highland, and the two parcels of land that made up the Park Royal RV Park next to the Highland into a 35-unit townhouse development.
According to a staff report from senior city planner Audrey Tanguay notes that an information session was held, attended by 50 neighbours, with invitations sent out to 117 neighbouring properties.
“Positive commentaries were conveyed regarding the proposed development, the location and the quality of the proposal,” the report said.
But the city planner also made note of some issues with Wylie Street and Burnaby Avenue, both of which border the property, and were “deemed to be in very poor condition, with storm water management issues and crumbling asphalt.”
Developers are required to improve public roadways and walkways through to the centre line of the road, but due to the degraded nature of the streets, the city is calling on more extensive work.
“Through discussion with staff and the developer, the creation of a local area service is being recommended as the preferred method of financing the works,” the report reads. “A ‘local area service’ is any municipal service that is designed to benefit an area and is paid for by local property owners through a local service tax.”
Five properties along Burnaby and Wylie would be incorporated into the local area service, which would share the cost of about $800,000 worth of work, paid back to the city over the course of 15 to 20 years in taxes.
Tanguay said staff have sent out notices to the other properties that would be within that local area service. To challenge the project, a majority of the property owners in the local area service zone making up at least half of the assessed property values would need to come forward against it.
If the local area service fails, staff note that council is able to mandate the developer build beyond the centre line under the Local Government Act.
The Highland Motel was knocked down last year after the property was bought by Azura.
In July, Azura president Ewen Stewart confirmed with the Western News he bought the Highland motel for $1.05 million, while the property is now valued at $853,000 with the motel now demolished. Last year’s assessment put the property at $804,000, with just $27,000 of that coming from the building.
The plot at 240 Riverside Drive, which houses the RV park is valued at $2.3 million.