By Lyonel Doherty
There’s the good, the bad and the ugly, but when it comes to the entrance canopy of the new hotel in Oliver, there’s just the “good” and the “bad.”
Mayor Ron Hovanes thinks the new design is quite good, but Councillor Petra Veintimilla begs to differ.
“It doesn’t look that bad but it doesn’t look that good (either),” she said during a mild debate on Tuesday.
After all was said and done, Town council approved an amended design requested by the hotelier.
At a previous meeting, council deferred its decision on the amendment application that sought to modify the approved design of the 83-room hotel on the former Centennial RV Park site. The developer is requesting that the design of the covered canopy structure at the main entrance be modified from timber frame to steel frame with wood and stone accents.
Reportedly, the first design consisted of a metal canopy, but Town council wanted something better. The company then offered a timber frame design that council liked and approved. But the company came back, saying it discovered the design was over budget by $100,000, so it submitted a steel frame design with wood around the perimeter.
Council wasn’t happy with the modification and deferred their decision, asking the company to stick with the timber design.
But the company responded by saying, “ To go significantly over budget with a complete timber frame ‘port cochere’ would not be a wise decision from a business investment standpoint.”
The company says the modified canopy is a necessary compromise “as we really want to fit in with the Town’s emphasis on natural materials and we feel we achieved this.”
But Veintimilla wasn’t convinced.
The councillor said she appreciates the company is over budget, but personally feels the applicant is trying to “soften the blow” with something that isn’t proportionately close to the timber design.
Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger said it is unfortunate that the builder put forth a timber design that had not been fully costed out.
“But I agree with the (contract) planner that it’s a minor revision . . . I’m prepared to let it go.”
Hovanes said he doesn’t think the modified canopy looks that bad.
“I think it’s probably the nicest entrance on Station Street. It will set the bar for others.”
But Veintimilla said people she spoke to have told her, “Don’t let them change it.”
Hovanes said the Town has waited 10 to 15 years to attract a hotel that will cost $8 million to build. The mayor added that he would feel uncomfortable asking the hotelier to spend an additional $100,000 on the timber design.
“It’s a tough one because the horse it out of the barn,” Hovanes said.
Councillor Maureen Doerr said the steel frame design appropriately reflects a hotel in modern times.
Contact planner Christopher Garrish said the design change, in his opinion, is minor in nature.
Council approved the modification, with Veintimilla and Councillor Dave Mattes opposed.