Rupert council voted to stratify the property of 101 1st Ave. East into two strata units after an application came forward from Taggart Holding Ltd. to convert the top unit into private residential space and the bottom into commercial.
“We’ve looked at having commercial and residential together in this town and this is just one of those situations where it’s a great idea,” said Coun. Barry Cunningham.
Coun. Joy Thorkelson said she was not against the stratification, but was opposed to the perceived weakening of the city’s policy of not stratifying rental buildings unless the vacancy rate is higher than four per cent over the past 12 months.
“If this strata was for more units or for a larger building, then we would be doing a bit of a different recommendation moving forward, but as this doesn’t affect any of the accommodation rentals in the area, then we would proceed. [Any larger and we] would have to do a full analysis of rental in the area,” said Pucci.
During councillors’ reports, Cunningham told staff to ask absentee downtown land owners to shovel the sidewalks in front of their property, or contract it out and send them the bill.
“There are large lots in town that are owned by people by people from out of town,” he said. “I’ve noticed there are areas – [the old] Dairy Queen lot, the one across from the credit union, where sidewalks aren’t cleared – I’d like to give these people a phone call … I really think these absentee owners should be taken to task,” he said.