Two of the buildings that make up the Summerland Motel would be renovated and turned into 27 long-term rental apartments, according to a proposal that’s going to a public hearing in October.
The owner of the motel, which is actually located in the Trout Creek neighbourhood, intends to subdivide the site into two lots. One existing building on the northern lot bordering Tait Street and Highway 97 would be retained as motel rooms, while two buildings on the southern lot would be turned into five one-bedroom apartments and 22 studio units.
“Our experience has been that there is substantial demand for such units,” owner John Lathey wrote in a letter to Summerland council that also notes he has no intention of offering the apartments as vacation rentals.
“The reason we are looking for rezoning for our property is precisely not to go into short-term rentals,” wrote Lathey.
The plan requires a suite of regulatory approvals, including zoning and Official Community Plan amendments, which already have the support of district staff.
“Staff believe that the proposed OCP and zoning amendments will allow for the addition of a valuable stock of rental units to the district at no cost to the taxpayer and help contribute to our ultimate goal of accommodating an increased range of housing types,” planning technician Alex Costin told council.
Council later voted 5-0 – with Toni Boot on leave from her post as mayor and Coun. Doug Patan absent– to give tentative approval to the amendments and send the matter to a public hearing Oct. 26. Council also voted to expand from 30 to 100 metres the surrounding area in which neighbours will be notified about the proposal.
“That is a big change for that area,” said Coun. Erin Trainer, “so I would definitely like to hear what the neighbourhood has to say.”
Summerland council in 2019 approved a development variance permit to allow for a 24-unit motel nearby at the corner of Johnson Street and Highway 97, but nothing has come of that plan.