Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Oct. 20, 2014 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

Random Act of Kindness Day

Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Executive Director Aaron McRann gave Council an overview what may be in store for Random Acts of Kindness Day set for Nov. 7. Community foundations across the valley and the B.C. Interior are encouraging each of their communities to take part, and Aaron McRann encouraged the City to participate and challenge other organizations in the upcoming Random Act of Kindness Day to be held on Nov. 7. He encouraged Bylaw Services to place “Random Act of Kindness” cards on vehicles instead of parking tickets, requiring residents to pass on the kindness within a given timeframe.

Corry Place reconstruction

Following a neighbourhood consultation session with property owners on Corry Place, staff presented Council with the design concept selected by the residents which includes underground electrical, utilities, water main replacement, drainage improvements, sanitary service, street lighting and concrete curbs. The project was referred to the 2015 budget.

Ribfest 2015

The Rotary Club of Penticton would like to hold the inaugural Penticton Ribfest on the weekend of July 2 to 4, 2015 at Okanagan Lake Park. The event would include four professional ribbers, food vendors, non-food vendors selling goods and services, a beer garden and live entertainment. Penticton Council approved the idea in principle.

Fire Department investments

Investments into the Penticton Fire Department personnel were announced, with the creation of a Fire Training Officer position and addition of two firefighter to career staffing levels.

The Fire Training Officer will be responsible for creating, implementing and co-ordinating the department training program for all staff, as well as serving as the technical training advisor internally and externally. The position was identified in the Penticton Fire Department Service Review as an investment that would assist with skills development. The Fire Training Officer will assist the management team with operations and programs at the Emergency Training Centre at Fire Hall No. 2. This centre envisions serving the needs of the local department and South Okanagan region for live fire training, rather than sending career and auxiliary members out of the community for needed instruction – saving approximately 70% in training costs.

A proposed expansion of fire protection service areas precipitates additional investment into the Penticton Fire Department. A letter of intent between the City and the Penticton Indian Band has been signed to facilitate fire protection services for new development and residential areas (non-native leasehold improvements) east of the Penticton Channel: Skaha Hills, Riva Ridge, Barefoot Beach Resort, Wright's Beach Campground and Red Wing. This includes the addition of First Responder services and fire safety inspections.

Due to the expanded area of fire protection, two firefighter positions will be added to the budget in 2015.

2014 General Election

An overview of the Accu-Vote OS vote tabulating system was provided Council. The City of Penticton has been using the Accu-Vote OS machines since the 1999 general election. In B.C. alone, these machines are being used by 46 municipalities with technical support from Election Systems & Software. It is not network enabled, wifi or Bluetooth capable. Diagnostic testing is conducted prior to advance polling.

Quarterly reports

Council received an update on strategic priorities and departmental priorities and departmental work plans for the third quarter of 2014. The next quarterly update will be brought forward to Council in January 2015. The Economic Development Office provided an overview of the third quarter achievements. On benchmark indicators like young families, BC Stats are recording an increase in the number of 1 to 9-year-olds, indicating more families with children are moving to Penticton. An uptick has been recorded in construction starts and value: two times the number of building permits over 2013, $24 million this year when compared to $10 million in 2013.

Permissive tax exemptions

Permissive tax exemptions were adopted 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.

Industrial sector economic investment zone

Penticton Council passed the third reading of a bylaw (as amended) that would establish economic investment zones for the industrial sector. 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. The bylaw was amended to restrict gas stations from being eligible for incentives.

Multi-family on Scott Avenue

Following a public hearing, Penticton council denied zoning changes for 273 Scott Ave. that would have allowed a three-storey, 13-unit multi-family development. Development on the site has been proposed twice in the past.

ALR application

Penticton Council supported the application to the Agriculture Land Commission to subdivide 3330 Valleyview Rd. The applicant is seeking approval to subdivide the existing house from the 3.9-hectare agricultural land, creating a new parcel less than 0.35 hectares of land.

Churchill Avenue duplex

Penticton Council passed first reading of zoning changes for 701 Churchill Ave. to allow for a front/back duplex on each lot. The application will go to public hearing Nov. 3.

Lee Avenue variance

Penticton Council approved a development variance permit for 195 Lee Ave. to allow for the construction of a garage with access and egress from the side of the structure. The permit allows rear-yard setback of an accessory building to decrease to 0.76 metres.

Martin-Westminster project

Penticton Council adopted a bylaw that finalizes the landowner contributions for the Downtown west revitalization local area service, known as the Martin-Westminster revitalization area. The contributions will begin in 2015 for a 15-year period. The construction project has come under budget, which reduced the landowner contributions by 12%.

Ellis Street zoning amendments

Following a public hearing, Penticton council adopted 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.

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 74 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online