Dave Hill

Dave Hill

Building protection sought

Members of Summerland’s Heritage Advisory Commission want to ensure a church building in Lowertown is protected.

Members of Summerland’s Heritage Advisory Commission want to ensure a church building in Lowertown is protected.

The Lakeside Presbyterian Church building, at the corner of Butler and Shaughnessy Avenues, will soon be put up for sale now that it is no longer being used as a church.

The church building, more than a century old, has been recognized for its heritage value.

Construction on the church building began in 1910. In 1926, a pipe organ was added to the 225-seat building.

On Thursday, the commission discussed options for the building at its regular meeting.

At present, it is one of two buildings in Summerland which has been given heritage designation. The other is the former George Ryga house on Caldwell Street.

While the church building was given the heritage designation in 1984, the rules governing such designation have changed since that time.

David Gregory, a member of the commission, said the owner of a building with heritage designation is still able to upgrade the building for health and safety reasons, but there are restrictions to the changes which may be done.

In addition to the heritage designation, the municipality has a list of 65 properties which are considered to have heritage value. While this list identifies heritage properties, it does not provide protection to these buildings.

The municipality is also able to create a community heritage registry. This gives the municipality the power to temporarily withhold permits to alter or demolish properties with historical value.

Gregory suggested a fourth option, which is to add a heritage zoning for the building. He said such a zoning would provide protection and would increase its value.

The commission recommended that the municipality begin the process of creating a heritage conservation bylaw to protect this building as a heritage property.

The commission also recommended that the municipality develop a formal heritage program to protect buildings, sites and trees with heritage value.