Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Oct. 6, 2014 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

BC Transit bus review

BC Transit Senior Regional Transit Manager Daniel Pizarro presented Council with a review of the Vicinity Bus. The18-month pilot program included rolling out prototypes into service to help BC Transit refine bus design before rolling it out to communities. The lower floor area was increased to allow for two wheelchair positions, and the floor was lowered in order to meet Canadian Safety Association standards. The wheel hub position was also adjusted. Surveys found high levels of satisfaction for the new bus, with 74% of Penticton respondents reporting satisfaction.

Foster Family Month October 2014

The month of October was proclaimed Foster Family Month in recognition of the care, compassion and unselfish commitment of British Columbia foster families.

Martin-Westminster project success

Penticton Council received an update on the Martin-Westminster revitalization this spring that showed the project has come under budget, affording significant savings to business owners and taxpayers. The budget for the project was $1,346,490.44, and actuals have come in at $25,132.69 less than projected. These savings reduce the landowner contributions by 12%, down to $262,335.69.

This report allows the City to finalize the landowner contributions via the Downtown west revitalization local area service bylaw, which takes into effect in 2015 and works over a 15-year period. Council passed three readings of the parcel tax process that would initiate that contribution.

Main Street project

Council moved the next stages of the Downtown Plan forward, with the first phase of Main Street's new future. Significant discussion has occurred about what public investment should happen in the immediate future, as an extensive public consultation and design process for Main Street has been held this year. Following this discussion, the Downtown Revitalization Select Advisory Committee made two recommendations to Council in terms of which projects to move forward: the 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street and endorsement of the proposed North Park design phased in over time.

Since 2011, more than $8 million in new development and private investment has been made in Downtown Penticton, ranging from large-scale commercial developments, new multi-family residential development, renovations of existing buildings, and development of vacant sites.

The North Green revitalization of Gyro Park outlines a flexible and vibrant green space that adds trees, playground equipment and the ability to temporarily close Gyro to vehicles with a traffic re-routing available north of City Hall. Proposals for the 200 block of Main enhance the pedestrian environment by increasing the width of sidewalk areas on both sides of the street, and allowing businesses to use 2.65 metres of dedicated storefront use spaces. Parking is also maintained, and expanded as sidewalk cafes no longer occupy stall spaces. Underground infrastructure would also be improved.

There are several funding methods, including the Government of Canada's Canada Fund for small municipalities and Gas Tax Funds. In preparation of budget deliberations, the Committee recommended Council initiate the local area improvement process in October. Council gave first two readings to the bylaw that would establish a local area service and to authorize the construction of street improvements in the first phase of Main Street.

Hospital project moves forward

Penticton council passed first reading of zoning changes that would allow the Patient Care Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital to be built at the proposed capacity.

Hospital expansion has long been identified by Interior Health as an integral part of the health care delivery system in the South Okanagan. A request for qualifications to build the tower has recently been issued, and first wishing to be considered for the final design and build process have until Nov. 6, 2014 to submit bids. A pre-design was commissioned by Interior Health to assist with planning, which included a seven-storey tower with five-storey parkade.

Current zoning includes a height restriction of 12 metres in the P1 (public assembly) zone, and the proposal is to allow for seven storeys or 40 metres. This may be reduced slightly depending on final design. The application will go to public hearing Nov. 3.

Industrial sector economic investment zone

Penticton Council passed the first three readings to a bylaw for proposed Industrial sector economic investment zone bylaw. The intent of the bylaw is to foster development activity within strategic sectors of the City, encourage continued investment in properties and promote increased economic activity within the community. This EIZ program focuses on large-scale catalyst developments and those directly linked to job creation in the community.

KISU pool use

Penticton Council approved the licence to use agreement with the KISU Swim Club to allow use use of the room adjacent to the pool deck that measures 16 feet by 9.5 feet at an annual rate of $1,000 plus applicable taxes for one year, as well as a two, one-year renewal options.

Public art display request

Naramata Community School PAC/Centennial Committee's request to install a maypole statue celebrating the school's 100th anniversary within the Front Street roundabout was approved. Council further directed staff enter into an agreement for the temporary installation of the art display with a term ending Sept. 30, 2015.

Gahan Avenue variance

Penticton Council approved a development variance permit for 556 Gahan Ave. to allow for the expansion of a bedroom and room addition. The allowed rear-yard setback was from 6 metres to 4.5.

Sun Country bowling

Penticton Council endorsed Sun Country Bowling's application for a structural change to its liquor licence. The facility is applying to increase the service area to the main floor promenade and allow an additional 100 patrons to consume alcohol in the designated areas. There is no change in hours or planned renovations.

Partridge Drive variance

Penticton Council approved the zoning variance for 2983 and 2985 Partridge Dr., reducing the front yard building setback from 6 metres to 4.5 metres to accommodate a new single detached dwelling on each lot.

Penticton Avenue variance

Penticton Council approved the zoning variance for 120-1675 Penticton Ave. reducing the rear-yard building setback from 4.5 metres to 1.2 metres to accommodate a single detached dwelling on the irregular shaped lot.

Multi-family on Scott Avenue

Penticton council passed first reading of zoning changes for 273 Scott Avenue to allow a three storey, 13-unit multi-family residential development. The development came to Council in 2012 with revisions requested; these came forward this spring, and a public hearing was held in April. Neighbours expressed concerns about the project setbacks, and additional revisions were requested by Council. Substantial plan changes have been submitted, including larger setbacks and a building that is a similar height to nearby structures. The application will go to public hearing Oct. 20.

Ellis Street zoning amendments

Penticton council passed first reading of zoning changes for 564, 576 and 580 Ellis Street and supported development permits to allow for the construction of a duplex with flex units on each of the properties. The application will go to public hearing Oct. 20.

Ontario Street rezoning

Penticton council adopted 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. A public hearing was held on the matter, with several residents reporting challenges with parking and traffic on adjacent streets and the lane. Council requested staff review the area and develop solutions for the neighbouring residents.

Fintry Queen

Council reported to the public that the City would enter into a sub-licence agreement with Okanagan Lake Boat Company over a portion of water west of Kiwanis Pier for the Fintry Queen's moorage and operations. The rates increase from $5,000 to $15,000 in the first three years, and $20,000 for years four and five. The agreement will be signed off once the conditions precedent are satisfied.

Electric car charging station

Council agreed to enter into an agreement with BC Hydro for the installation of a direct current fast charge (DCFC) electrical vehicle charging station in Penticton. The three sites identified like Downtown Penticton and Lakeshore Drive will be forwarded to BC Hydro as candidate sites for the stations, and the 2014 budget was amended to accommodate the City's portion of the installation and operation of the charging station.

Delegations

Two residents came as delegations to City Council. Kevin Proteau and Vicki Lightfoot provided Council with information and options to consider regarding scrutineers for the next election.

Ken Johnston spoke before Council about several concerns, including addresses on businesses, privately owned property located near Lawrence Avenue, and speed enforcement and RCMP presence.

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 79 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online