Pet owners know the struggle is real when searching for a place to call home, but Vernon’s newest townhomes are setting a precedent for developers and strata councils.
“This is my legacy,” Aomoto Hills project co-ordinator, developer and dog owner Kari Montsion said, underscoring the importance of creating affordable, livable space for young people with pets.
“I decided I was going to build the first, truly, pet-friendly townhome development in Vernon,” she said.
Not only is the Mission Hill Road complex situated within walking distance to multiple dog parks and hiking trails, but each unit was specifically designed with canines—and other critters—in mind.
Scratch-resistant vinyl-plank flooring, pet-grade Tryesse Pro Stainmaster Carpet and high-end, modern finishes are a few of Montsion’s touches that allow homeowners to spend more time with their pets rather than cleaning up after them.
“Every design we incorporated here is to make it easy to clean,” she said.
The fully-fenced yards were also designed with animals in mind, with synthetic, pet-approved lawns constructed on a slight grade allowing for waste to be rinsed off.
Strata bylaws were penned by Montsion herself and protect homeowners from situations involving problematic animals.
“If you have a vicious dog and it’s jumping and causing problems, the strata council has the right to require you to take the dog to obedience lessons and take remediation action to solve the problem,” she said. “If you do not (solve the issue), you lose your privilege of having a pet.”
“My bylaws provide the strata owners more rights than the City of Vernon has to control critters,” Montsion said.
Although Aomoto Hills is Montsion’s legacy, she didn’t forget to pay homage to what came before the townhomes.
“There was an old farmhouse on the property and we decided to take it down, board by board. We dismantled it,” she said.
Now, pieces of refurbished 100-year-old farm wood are used throughout the homes in different finishes and adornments. Montsion finishes them by hand with her “trusty flamethrower.”
Project manager David Borden of Sustain Land Corporation was behind the dismantling of the farmhouse and said it was time-consuming but worth it.
“There were many nail-removing parties,” he said.
Century 21 investment real estate specialist Joel Ellams became involved to sell the homes because he said he’s never seen anything like this before.
“This project is really raising the standard in Vernon,” he said.
An open house will be held at Aomoto Hills’ showhome on 16th Avenue and Mission Hill Road this weekend from 1-4 p.m.