Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the June 17, 2013 meeting.

B.C. Fruit Growers Association

B.C. Fruit Growers Association President Jeet Dukhia presented Council with an overview of topics addressing their industry's competitiveness, housing for foreign workers, water, invasive pests and municipal-regional district programs currently in place for sterile insect release, starling control and wood waste chipping programs.

Wine Bloggers Conference

Local Wine Bloggers Conference organizer Allison Markin provided Council with a summary of this year's event. The annual event drew oenophiles, wine industry experts, online writers, media experts and social media influencers to Penticton this year for three days to experience the South Okanagan wine country. More than 240 people attended, but the impressions (or the number of views the post or message received) generated from delegates and participants have topped 31 million to date – which would cost at least $1 million to purchase in terms of traditional media buys.

Downtown Plan adopted

After a year of public consultation sessions, pages of input and a formal public hearing, Council adopted the Downtown Plan into the Official Community Plan.

The plan has been developed using comments and feedback received during an intensive year of public consultation sessions held throughout 2012. Residents, businesses and stakeholders were invited to visioning open houses, focus group sessions, a five-day design charrette, funding workshop and market displays, in addition to taking part in surveys, questionnaires and one-on-one conversations.

The Downtown Plan is composed of five sections, with the first two devoted to the planning process and an overview of the research conducted to support recommendations and establish achievable goals. The third section outlines the “layers” in Downtown Penticton, or elements that permeate throughout the area like green spaces, land uses, mobility networks and infrastructure. The fourth section gives an overview of Penticton's character areas, or pockets that have a unique identity that should be nurtured and sustained. Many urban design elements are found in the character area section. The fifth section is called “Making the Plan Real,” identifying the 101 action items and step-by-step approach to implement the plan and create momentum for revitalization. This section categorizes the short, medium and long-term priorities for the area, and required policy changes.

Following the public hearing, Council adopted the amending bylaw, officially including the downtown plan in the OCP. For more information or to read the Downtown Plan, visit www.penticton.ca/downtown.

Balfour Street zoning

After a public hearing was held, Penticton Council adopted the amendments to the zoning and Official Community Plan for the property located at 1496 Balfour St. The amendment rezones the property from large-lot residential to commercial transition, and the OCP is amended to include the property in the general tourist commercial development permit area. A development variance permit was also approved by Council that would see the zoning bylaw varied to allow for tandem parking for this commercial development, allow for an additional parking space for a small car, reduce the required landscaping in the parking area and reduce the required three-metre landscape buffer to 1.5 metres.

Perseus Winery not granted endorsement

Council did not endorse Perseus Winery's application to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch for a liquor winery lounge area at 134 Lower Bench Rd. Delegations were accepted in relation to the application, and several speakers from neighbouring residences came to present their views on how they could be impacted. The endorsement would have allowed patrons to eat food on a designated outdoor lounge area, in keeping with existing hours.

City partners with UBCO and FortisBC

Penticton Council supported a partnership between UBCO and FortisBC for a doctoral candidate to evaluate the City facilities and create a software tool enabling the City to monitor and reduce its energy consumption.

The Corporate Climate Action Plan was adopted in 2011 and sets a goal of reducing the corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. The plan also identified that 56% of the City's energy consumption and 62% of greenhouse gas production results from the operation of buildings. The proposed research and lifecycle asset management tool would be used to monitor and adjust building controls on an ongoing basis to maximize energy efficiency.

Subdivision and development amendment

Penticton Council passed the first three readings to an amendment to the subdivision and development bylaw. The housekeeping amendment was proposed to better correspond with the Fees and Charges Bylaw.

Braid Street building considered

Council approved a development variance permit that will allow for reduced side and rear yard allowances, as well as increase the maximum permitted height for an accessory building at 401 Braid St.

Skaha Lake Road OCP amendment

Penticton Council considered an Official Community Plan amendment for 275 Waterloo Ave. to remove that lot from the business park development permit area. First reading was considered by Council and the amendment will go to public hearing.

Street name change

Penticton Council rescinded the resolution to rename Westminster Avenue East to Backstreet Boulevard so that the issue can be dealt with through the appropriate consultation process.

Licence approved for community garden

Council authorized a five-year licence allowing the new society of the Parkway Community Gardens to use a portion of 2460 Baskin St. (approximately 0.184 acres) for use as a sustainable community garden.

By-election planning

Penticton Council received a staff report for information regarding potential dates for a by-election. Council received former mayor Dan Ashton's resignation on June 12. In accordance with Community Charter Section 37, an election must be held to fill the vacancy.

The first step is to appoint a Chief Election Officer who sets the general voting day no later than 80 days after the date of appointment. Some dates were provided as examples, with election dates that could range from Sept. 7 to Oct. 19, all avoiding scenarios where general voting day falls on a long weekend.

A report will be prepared for the July 2 meeting to provide options, including an appointment of the CEO on that date or referring the appointment to a future Council meeting.

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 122 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online.