Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the June 15, 2015 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

SOWINS update

South Okanagan Women in Need Society representative Debbie Scarborough gave Council an update on the non-profit organization’s progress on strategic planning. Second stage housing plans are moving ahead, to meet the need of women and children who are moving onto the next phase of housing. SOWINS invited Council to take part in Walk a Mile in Her Shoes, a light-hearted fundraising event to help solve serious issues around breaking the cycle of gender-based and domestic violence. To find out more or register, check out the registration page.

2014 Annual Report

According to Section 98 of the Community Charter, each year the City must prepare an annual report. The purpose of the annual report is to provide the public with a copy of the audited financial statements for 2014, a listing of the permissive tax exemptions, a report regarding objectives and accomplishments of the previous year and an update regarding municipal services and operations. This year, the 2014 Annual Report was designed to showcase the City’s vision, that “Penticton is an innovative, adventurous waterfront City that focuses on sustainability, community and economic opportunity.”

The 2014 Annual Report has been available to the public for inspection at City Hall since May 21, 2015 and is also available online [PDF - 6.1 MB]. Advertisements have been placed in the City Pages to notify the public as well, achieving the 14-day notice period as required under the Community Charter Section 99(2). Statements of financial information for 2014 were also presented to Council.

Bench 1775 Winery

Bench 1775 Winery was proposing a winery lounge and special event area (SEA) endorsement to its liquor licence. The winery at 1775 Naramata Rd. is looking to add food and beverage service in the main areas, and special events for weddings, private dinners and special tastings. The liquor licence change would accommodate an interior lounge for 24 people, exterior lounge of 40 people and an additional tasting room and special event area for 33 people. In May, Council approved the winery’s lounge application, and referred the SEA application back to staff to address neighbourhood comments around noise and traffic. After a review, the SEA was brought back with limits on the hours of amplified noise for weddings, private parties and ticketed events, as well as cap the number of participants to 150.

Design work for Downtown Penticton revitalization

The Downtown Revitalization Sub-Committee is in the process of guiding design work for the 100 block of Main Street in Downtown Penticton. As options are refined, the Sub-Committee identified some improvements to the Gyro Park streetscape to help expand public events and use of the area. To balance the esthetics, design and cost of the project, the Sub-Committee recommended a road surface and crosswalk of paving stones in the north half of the 100 block, plus asphalt parking areas with contrasting stall delineation, paving stone and concrete sidewalks as well as light canopy for the northern two-thirds of the 100 block of Main Street and proposed Martin Street connector. Council approved the design concept, which will be included in the 2016 capital budget.

Development at 88 Lakeshore Dr.

Council considered a development permit for 88 Lakeshore Dr. East, to consider a new luxury development across the street from Okanagan Lake Park. The proposal includes a four-storey, three-unit luxury apartment residence, with the first floor set aside for parking and lobby space. The lot has sat vacant for many years, and borders on a residential tower of eight storeys. The site is zoned C5, or urban centre commercial, but the application includes only residential. The development would require relocation of the hydrant, and a preliminary design solution addressing the façade of the west side of the building to mitigate concrete wall construction will be required.

School rates for recreation

At the April 20th meeting, Council asked for a non-SD67 school rate pricing model and options in response to the request from Ecole Entre-Lacs for recreation discounts similar to School District 67. Several options were provided for consideration, and Council asked staff to develop school rates for non-SD67 schools including 50% discount for pool admission, 50% for McLaren Arena use and 25% for other City facility rentals like meeting rooms, Cleland Theatre and sports fields.  Three readings of corresponding Fees and Charges Bylaw changes were approved.

Canada 150 Grant

Council approved the City of Penticton’s submission of Leir House for Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program grant funding. In 2017, Canada will mark its 150th anniversary of Confederation, and the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program Grant was launched to help celebrate the country’s history, heritage, values and future. The program includes $150 million to provide significant support for community and cultural infrastructure across the country. The program supports renovation, expansion and rehabilitation of existing infrastructure that provides community and cultural benefits for the public. After reviewing criteria, renovation and upgrading Lier House – one of the most significant City-owned buildings on the heritage registry – at a cost of $900,000, according to the City facilities master plan.

E-bill update

Council received an update on the implementation of the postage fee for Electric Utility customers who still require a hard-copy statement mailed to them. The postage fee of $1 was implemented in May, which has generated a significant increase in Utilities Department inquiries as customers seek assistance to sign up for MyCity and electronic bills. One year ago in June 2014, there were only 357 customers who had signed up for e-bills out of 17,665 accounts. With ongoing promotions last fall, e-bill registrations increased to 1,191 as of January 2015. This figure almost tripled to 3,087 by the end of May – representing a 17% e-bill uptake of all Penticton customers.  

Vacant building renewal

The building at 597 Westminster Ave. West was registered as a vacant building on July 8, 2014, including the empty single-family home and garage. Vacant building registrations are effective for one year, but the property has recently been purchased, and the new owner wishes to demolish the existing buildings within the next six to 12 months. Council renewed the vacant building permit.

 

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 121 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online.