Penticton Council Highlights
September 19, 2014
The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Sept. 16, 2014 regular meeting of Penticton Council.
Penticton & Area Access Centre
Penticton & Area Access Centre representatives presented to Council on their efforts to alleviate the effects of poverty in the South Okanagan. Earlier this year, the Penticton & Area Women's Centre changed its name to the Penticton & Area Access Centre. The organization found over the years there was a demand for service from men and women, including advocacy around disability, poverty and legal issues, in addition to outreach issues. The Centre also provides a free income tax preparation program, as many financial assistance programs available require income taxes to be filed. This past year, Centre staff provided 11,446 services in the last year for both women and men. The Penticton & Area Access Centre is located at 209-304 Martin St., with drop-in hours from 1 to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday. For information, visit www.accesscentre.org or call 250-493-6822.
Biggest Group Hug
Scott Mudry presented a short video and presentation on the initiative to achieve the “Biggest Group Hug” in the Guinness Book of World Records. The campaign is designed to support the “Hugs for Hope” in support of scleroderma, a devastating auto-immune disease. The attempt is tentatively scheduled for Peachfest, and although Mudry has not confirmed details as of yet, he is seeking Penticton's support in breaking the record for the largest group hug of 10,058 people or other records. He was inspired by Challenge Penticton Canada, seeing athletes of all ages cross the finish line as late as midnight, and felt the Penticton community could embrace the record.
SS Sicamous Master Plan
An update on the SS Sicamous Master Plan process to outline conceptual plans for the area was provided to Council. A design charrette with stakeholders was held this past spring, and public consultation during the Peach City Beach Cruise to find out what people saw for the heritage and marine area. Many people supported ideas around First Nations cultural centre to celebrate the Penticton Indian Band, plaza features to make the area more inviting, enhance the rock outlook and enhance pathways and pedestrian connections through the area. From all that feedback, some design concepts have been put together for review by stakeholders in the coming weeks.
An additional public consultation session has been scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 27 during the Downtown Market. To review the concepts and learn more about the project, visit www.penticton.ca/waterfront.
Penticton council gave three readings to a bylaw to close a portion of Dartmouth Drive. The small strip of land behind a line of Wiltse Place properties is of no value to the City - on top of a steep silt bluff separated from the road below by an embankment. The land is being used by adjacent property owners, and three of the five owners have agreed to sale prices for the portion of land behind their private property. Affected utility companies will be notified of the intention to remove the highway dedication.
Vacant building renewal
A one-year renewal of the vacant building registration was supported for 597 Martin St. The single-family home on the lot was registered previously, and has been monitored with limited incidents. Vacant building registration regulations outlined in the Good Neighbour Bylaw were designed to track and monitor existing residential and commercial properties, as well as encourage property owners to repair or remove derelict buildings.
Ontario Street rezoning
Penticton council passed first reading of zoning changes for 801 Ontario St. to allow a duplex , followed by approval of a development variance permit for the construction of two duplex. The applicant intends to develop a multi-family strata project with two side-by-side duplexes with one facing Ontario and the other facing the lane. The development will have four units in total, with each unit being roughly 1,600 square feet. Each unit features an enclosed garage.
Economic investment zones
The Economic Investment Zone program was adopted in 2010 to provide economic incentives for key uses within the City, particularly targeting Downtown Penticton, industrial areas, the waterfront and specific uses such as hotel/motel. Over $32 million in new construction has been initiated with 20 projects since the program was put into effect in 2010, resulting in approximately 174 new jobs created.
Seven properties were approved for revitalization tax exemption agreements, which are required by property owners to have a tax certificate submitted to B.C. Assessment. Those properties included: 169 Estabrook Ave., 412 Main St., 568 Dawson Ave., 1690 Fairview Rd., 275 Waterloo Ave., 110 Industrial Pl., and 317 Winnipeg St.
Council endorsed the new industrial area economic incentives, as recommended by the Community and Business Development Advisory Committee. The changes were developed after months of investigation and research , in addition to consultation with the Penticton Industrial Development Association. Key features include not only large-scale catalyst developments, but those that also generate high construction value and generate and sustain jobs.
Permissive tax exemptions
Permissive tax exemptions passed three readings by Penticton Council. Under the Community Charter, Council may exempt land or improvements from taxation by passing a bylaw before Oct. 31 each year. The City's policy requires applicants to provide financial information and proof they are in good standing with the Society Act. The requested exemptions total $276,601.88 in taxation revenue.
Skaha Marina operations
The City is entering an agreement for Skaha Marina licence to use and sub-licence of occupation with Trio Marine Group for one year starting on Jan. 1, 2015. An expression of interest (EOI) was issued in May of 2013 for Skaha Lake Marina to elicit interest and ideas for future opportunities of the marina area; this yielded four submissions. Those were short-listed and two proponents were invited to take part in a request for proposals (RFP). Staff was directed in November to negotiate with the proponent. Terms have been developed outlining due diligence required, including applying to the Province of B.C. for a joint licence of occupation for the area.
The one-year licence allows for continued marina operations in 2015 while negotiations on the final agreement have yet to be finalized, the one-year licence allows for continued marina operations in 2015. Although details of the final agreement is still being negotiated, public amenities will be preserved including the marina, boat launch, fuelling ability and splash pad amenities for children.
Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 73 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online
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