UBCM meeting on seasonal leases

Provincial hurdles to creating vibrant waterfront spaces were highlighted during a meeting yesterday between Penticton Mayor and Council and B.C. government representatives at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention.

Mayor and Council were able to raise concerns during face-to-face meetings with B.C. cabinet ministers in Whistler, including the issue of red tape around waterfront leases with Hon. Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations. An aquapark project on Okanagan Lake has been on hold for two seasons due to delays in provincial approvals.

“The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations has a stated application processing time of 6 months. This processing time target is not consistently being met,” said Penticton Coun. Judy Sentes. “Six months is considered excessive in circumstances when a temporary seasonal licence is required for tourist related recreational businesses. We would like consideration to be given for revision of the process so that annual seasonal leases would require a less onerous process.”

Ministry representatives indicated they would be investigating the situation.