Residents against demolition

Land purchase: Citizens ask council to preserve old Orchard House

The city’s purchase of the former Minos Restaurant property took some people by surprise, and Frank Bugala was one of them.

Bugala addressed the Dec. 5 meeting of the city’s planning committee, stating he has a petition from 16 of 21 people in the Creekside strata where he lives. The complex is located across 24th Street NE from the property, next to the SASCU Recreation Centre.

He said his group has been discussing the parcel that encompasses the old Orchard House, as the restaurant building was known, and considering it for uses such as affordable housing.

Bugala remarked that the city had negotiated a good deal at $550,000, given that his group was told a purchase price of $700,000.

He said he would like council and the community to consider using it for a new purpose rather than demolishing it – or at least having a community conversation about it.

“It’s a fine old building in various states of repair.”

In a Nov. 29 press release, the city announced it plans to consolidate the newly purchased property with city-owned property to the north, on the corner of 8th Avenue and 24th Street NE, to create an approximate three-acre parcel. The enlarged property would be used for future development of a recreation or aquatics facility.

Coun. Ken Jamieson said he would be open to hearing proposals and perhaps the city could see how much of the property it would need.

“It all happened quickly and to read in the paper that we’ve bought it and will demolish it could be a shock to some people.”

Coun. Alan Harrison noted he was on the city’s heritage commission when Orchard House was considered and rejected.

“They were extremely thorough… While I hear what you say,” he told Bugala, “I don’t want to give you false hope. The idea is to expand the swimming pool and put a new swimming pool there. If it was on the heritage register, I might not have voted to purchase it… The plan involves having to remove the building.”

Coun. Chad Eliason agreed, adding that “the plan for the city right now is to remove that building and to provide the taxpayer with options for redevelopment of that site.”

Coun. Louise Wallace Richmond proposed an idea that the whole council supported. She asked: “How do we incorporate the spirit of that place in whatever is built there in the future?”

A way to do that, she said, would be to invite those interested to attend the next community heritage commission meeting on Dec. 20, and to consider how to incorporate the building’s spirit in the development.

She and other councillors stressed they don’t want the upcoming meeting to give citizens false hope that the building will be saved.

Couns. Kevin Flynn and Jamieson said they would be willing to delay the demolition – maybe 30 to 90 days – to make time for a community conversation.

Coun. Tim Lavery said he wouldn’t want to see an unused building sitting on the property for too long, but Bugala assured his strata would watch over it.

“From living next to it for many years, I know the community has reverence for it. We take care of it, people keep an eye on it.”

 

Just Posted

Dedicated Girl Guide leader recognized with Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers

Maryann Brock has volunteered with Girl Guides for 37 years

$30,000 donation for outdoor classroom in Salmon Arm to honour beloved teacher

Funds from Armstrong Regional Co-op to go to the Shannon Sharp Learning Circle

New South Shuswap community park proposed for Blind Bay

Regional district proposes the purchase of 9.5 acres now known as Centennial Field

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Sun and heat continue Saturday

Environment Canada forecasts highs of 30 C throughout the Okanagan Saturday

Salmon Arm basketball star to be inducted into national hall of fame

One of Sargent’s many achievements is holding the Olympic record for most assists for 20 years

10 facts about Father’s Day

Did you know that the special day for dads was first celebrated in 1910?

Letter: Writer argues biosolids will damage water, soil

Turtle Valley residents lost the first battle with Nutrigrow/Arrow Transport when our… Continue reading

PacificSport and SportHealth team up to subsidize physiotherapy for members

The partnership is touted as the first of its kind in Salmon Arm

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Summerland pioneers had connection to Middlesex, England

Harry Dunsdon and Richard Turner became cattlemen

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Vernon seeks additional fetal alcohol syndrome support B.C.-wide

“We are making a difference but we could make even more of a difference”

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Gambler 500 hits Okanagan back roads

Hundreds of off road enthusiasts are rallying in the South Okanagan this… Continue reading

Most Read