Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Nov. 2, 2015 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

Poppy Day proclamation

Each November, poppies are found on the lapels and collars of over half of Canada’s entire population. The poppy campaign inspires Canadians to remember those who have fallen in war and military operations. In recognition of the Royal Canadian Legion’s annual commemorations, Nov. 7 was proclaimed Poppy Day in the City of Penticton.  

Utility rate review

An exhaustive review of utility rates for electrical, sewer and water was undertaken in 2015, with the aim to make sure each utility was sustainable in years to come.

The findings include residential customers on average are under-paying on electrical and water rates, and over-paying for sewer. This is different than commercial and industrial customers, who are likely over-paying on electricity and water rates, and under-paying on sewer rates. The review suggests adjustments to make sure local rates reflect how much it costs to provide the service.

Information will be going out to the public in the next week online (www.penticton.ca) and through local newspapers to allow the public to learn more about the proposed changes. The public can provide their thoughts and input, and will be forwarded to the December meeting of Council.

Penticton Public Library strategic plan

The Penticton Public Library Board developed a strategic planning committee to chart the course of the library through to 2018. After several meeting with stakeholders, including users and non-users alike, the committee defined the library’s mission, vision and core values, in addition to strategic objectives for the coming years. The six categories included: raising public awareness, increasing community engagement, put the patron experience first, foster lifelong learning, become Penticton’s gathering space, and promote responsible management.

Baby friendly community

A group of four UBC Okanagan nursing students presented on the Baby Friendly Initiative, as supported by  the World Health Organization. Some of the suggestions to foster a baby friendly community included offering support to mothers who are nursing children, accommodating mothers’ requests for a more private location for nursing, and how to handle complaints from members of the public who may not understand that breastfeeding is considered a human right.

Quidni Winery

After allowing for more consultation with the neighbourhood, Council endorsed the recommendation to have a winery lounge endorsement for Quidni Estate Winery, at 1465 Naramata Rd. They are currently operating with a winery manufacturing and retail licences, and has approvals to operate a vineyard, manufacturing, residence, bed & breakfast and retail uses. The change would allow an interior lounge for 10 people and exterior lounge patio for 70 people, and the proposed hours were revised to 7 p.m. Sunday to Tuesday, and 10 p.m. Wednesday from Saturday.

Strategic wildfire prevention

Council supported a Fire Smart grant application for $10,000 grant funding to the UBCM Strategic Wildfire Program, to develop a community wildfire protection plan. This is a document that defines the risk from wildfire in an identified area, identifies necessary measures to address those risks and outlines implementation plans. Community wildfire protection plans also include a bylaw and policy review. The UBCM program helps local governments develop these plans by providing 50% of the required funds. The City will contribute $10,000 in the 2016 capital budget for plan development.

Electronic participation at Council meetings

With the advent of high-speed and high-quality video conference technologies, it has become increasingly possible and simple to attend meetings from remote locations. To allow Council to remotely participate in special meetings, three readings of Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw were passed Monday night. Final adoption is scheduled for Nov. 16.

Braid Street development

Council approved development variance permits for 457-497 Braid St. that would allow for five front-to-back duplexes. The sites are currently zoned as duplex housing: lane (RD2), and the development would convert the small, older single-family homes into 10 units. The variance decreases the minimum front yard setback by one metre, and allows above-ground cooling equipment to be allowed in the interior side yard.

Lawrence Avenue variance

Council approved a development variance permit for 2005 Lawrence Ave., allowing a decrease in the required rear and side yard setbacks. The property is located in Sendero Canyon development, and the specific site on Lawrence Avenue has significant challenges in terms of topography that would prevent construction.

Cedar Road zoning

After a public hearing, zoning changes for 2800 Cedar Rd. were adopted Monday. The developer applied to rezone a section of the Cedar Road property adjacent to Evergreen Drive, where a residential subdivision is proposed. The remainder of the property will maintain agricultural zoning.

Economic investment zones

Penticton Council adopted the Major Development Projects Economic Investment Zone Bylaw, designed to support development in the city. To be eligible, the venture must be proposing a $17 million project based on the value of the building permit.

Casino and indoor amusement uses

Council gave second and third reading to a zoning change to add “casino” to the definition of “indoor amusement, entertainment and recreation.”

Eckhardt Avenue parking

Council passed third reading of zoning changes for 903-969 Eckhardt Avenue that would formalize the site as a parking lot. While the site is unofficially used for parking during major events at the South Okanagan Events Centre, the current zoning is small-lot residential (R2) to general commercial (C4). This would allow the site to be converted into a proper parking lot including paving, landscaping, lighting, curbing, storm water management and signage.

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. If you require an official record of what transpired, we reccommend you check out Minutes from the meeting.