Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Dec. 2, 2013 meeting of Penticton Council.

Martin Street craft distillery proposal

Penticton Council passed first reading of a site specific rezoning amendment for the Best Damn Sport Bar located at 260 Martin St. to allow a distillery in Downtown Penticton. The applicant intends to convert a portion of the building, approximately 2,900 square feet, into a craft distillery and tasting room. The proposal is in line with the Vibrant Penticton Downtown Plan, which encourages “entertainment district” uses. The amendment will go to public hearing Dec. 16.

2014 electrical rate

Penticton council received delegations and submissions regarding options for the 2014 electrical rates. The City Electric Utility had to adjust 2014 electric rates to address three different cost pressures, including a FortisBC increase of the price of power purchased by the City of Penticton (3.3%), the increase of the price FortisBC pays for power purchased from BC Hydro (1.6%), and the difference between the actual and modelled revenue (-0.2%). Future adjustments relating to the proposed power cost increase from BC Hydro will have to be reviewed.

Council chose alternative 3, which would apply an average of the FortisBC, BC Hydro and revenue difference increases at the retail power sale level, for an increase of 4.03%.

Land sale proposed

Penticton Council directed staff to pursue discussion regarding the sale of land located at 284 and 296 Brunswick Street. Okanagan Label and Print's owner came to Council as a delegation to request an opportunity to purchase the land at 284 and 296 Brunswick St. at fair market value to facilitate an expanded printing operation at the site. Okanagan Label and Print is currently expanding and requires additional space for new machinery set to arrive in 2014.

Requirements under the Community Charter for the disposition of public land must be met, including notice of the proposed distribution in the newspaper. Recognizing the parcel has been discussed in relation to affordable housing, Council also added the requirement that development of the land accommodate affordable housing dwelling units above commercial uses on the main floor, and funds from the land sale be used for affordable housing.

Balfour street medical building

Penticton Council approved a development variance permit for 1496 Balfour Street. The applicant has started construction of a medical building and is proposing to add a secondary fire egress from the roof-top deck of the medical clinic.

Deck variance considered

Penticton Council approved a development variance permit for 101 Bassett St. varying the required rear yard setback by 1.4 metres to allow for an existing covered deck to encroach into the newly created rear yard setback area.

Parking regulation amendments

Penticton Council passed first reading of bylaw amendments that would reduce the required parking spaces for commercial development of properties fronting Westminster Avenue West and Estabrook Avenue in the C6 zone.

The proposed amendments are consistent with other commercial zoning (C5) regulations that do not require on-site parking requirements for commercial uses. The amendment will go to public hearing Dec. 16.

OCP amendment

Penticton Council passed first reading of amendments to the High Density Development Permit Area. Development permit areas provide guidelines and restrictions for projects within those given areas. As the guidelines relate to the residential components, development permits will not be required when there is no residential component.

The amendment will go to public hearing on Dec. 16.

Substation transformer upgrade

In 2011, the Penticton Electrical Distribution System Plan outlined short- and long-term upgrades to the utility through to 2031. One of the key projects identified is the installation of a 12 KV transformer at the FortisBC Westminster Substation. The project will increase system security, handling a higher electrical load and allowing more flexibility in terms of load transfer between substations in the event of an emergency. Project cost estimate is $4.96 million. The project is split over 2013 and 2014 with $3 million approved in 2013.

Penticton Council authorized staff to complete negotiations and enter into an agreement with FortisBC for the upgrade to the FortisBC Westminster substation transformer.

Fire equipment depreciation

Council deferred the recommendation by the Penticton Fire Department strategic team to increase the fire department's budget by $135,841 to include a supplemental amount for apparatus depreciation. Depreciation budget will be discussed at the Dec. 4 budget meeting.

Railway heritage in proposed park

Heritage display options for the Marina Way Lookout Park were presented to Council, and the items were deferred to the Dec. 18 budget deliberations.

Permissive tax exemption

Penticton Council approved three readings to amendments to the 2014 permissive tax exemption bylaw to remove those properties owned by the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation Society. The society contacted the City to note that its properties at 1748 and 1802 Camrose St. were no longer eligible for the 2014 tax exemption, as they would be rented out and providing the society revenue. The society asked that the properties be removed from the permissive tax exemption list.

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 118 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online.