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Penticton’s Cherry Lane Towers changing to 55+ age restriction

Owner Toni Russell has lost her bid to keep the buildings 19-plus, blames new Strata Act
Toni Russell holds up a copy of Bill 44, which removed the ability for stratas to ban rentals or use 19+ age restrictions. Now the strata at Cherry Lane Towers where she lives is trying to turn the condo complex into a 55+ community. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)

Despite the best efforts of one senior, the Cherry Lane Towers condominium complex will be going to a 55+ age restriction.

Toni Russell had been championing a fight against the proposal to change the strata’s restrictions, but the vote on Jan. 25 ended up with a majority in favour of stricter limits on who would be allowed to buy or rent in the buildings.

“It went how I expected it to, doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed,” Russell said on Friday, Jan. 27.

Russell went so far as to get letters and statements from a local realtor and her financial manager to back up her argument that moving to a strict senior-only strata would cost everyone in the building financially.

It was a special concern for Russell, as she was focused on the impact on her children should she die before selling the place herself.

READ MORE: Penticton resident fighting to keep condo strata from becoming 55+ only

Now, Russell is beginning to look elsewhere to the future.

“I have to seriously think about this now,” Russell said. “I would like to sell and get out of this old age community, but what’s to stop the next place I move into from changing to 55+ after I move in? Nothing.”

At the core of Russell’s issue is the update to the Strata Act that was passed in late 2022, which removed the ability for stratas in B.C. to ban rentals or to set themselves with 19+ age restrictions. The Strata Act update did not change rules around 55-plus.

Prior to the amendment passing, Cherry Lane Towers had a 19+ age restriction.

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Brennan Phillips

About the Author: Brennan Phillips

Brennan was raised in the Okanagan and is thankful every day that he gets to live and work in one of the most beautiful places in Canada.
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