Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Nov. 16, 2015 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

Home upgrade program for energy efficiency

A FortisBC representative provided an overview of the Energy Conservation Assistance Program (ECAP), which provides income-qualified residential customers with a free home energy evaluation, energy-saving products and advice. To be eligible, customers must be in a detached home, duplex, townhouse or mobile home, and have a combined dual-household income of $58,800 or less. Some of the products customers can receive include energy-saving light bulbs, faucet aerators for kitchens and bathrooms, water-efficient showerheads, water heater pipe wrap, exterior door weather stripping and free advice to help create a more comfortable plan. Some homes may qualify for an Energy Star certified refrigerator, attic/wall and/or crawlspace insulation and a high-efficiency natural gas furnace.  To find out more, visit this page on the FortisBC website. For questions, customers can call 1-800-363-3330 or email ECAP@fortisbc.com.

Regional heritage strategy

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) provided an overview of the Regional Heritage Conservation Service Establishment Bylaw, as well as the potential to establish a heritage conservation as a regional service. Beginning in 2013, the RDOS began working on developing a strategic plan for heritage, identifying value and diversity in historically and culturally significant buildings, monuments and other sites. The RDOS Heritage Register is the cornerstone of the region's heritage program, providing an inventory of sites that have historical, cultural, aesthetic, scientific or educational worth. Sites will be added to the register identified during public engagement sessions. The program will also be supported by public education efforts. To establish a heritage conservation service, consent from all municipalities is required. Council approved establishing the Regional Heritage Conservation Service.

Lakawanna Park concession

The owner of the Lakawanna Park concession gave an overview of the public consultation held around opportunities for improvements at the Lakeshore Drive concession. Over 100 people came out to the two sessions, and input was provided around what the public wanted to see in terms of upgrades, amenities and offerings in the space. Based on this, the owner proposed upgrades to the site, including patio seating, sturdy umbrellas, increased flowers and plantings, expanded washrooms and upgrades to the kitchen. The upgrades would be at the lease owner’s cost, with some potential cost share of the washrooms – with the owner also paying increases in their lease rates. Council directed staff to work with the proponent on terms for proposed improvements and lease arrangements.

300 block of Main Street

A permit application for the former Three Gables Hotel site (in the 300 block of Main Street) considered establishing a parking lot on the site, but also vary requirements like paving the site, integrating landscaping and provide irrigation to those plantings. Conditions of the permit were also proposed to ensure the parking area must be graded, levelled and treated with an appropriate top coat, parking spaces must be delineated, and landscaping area of three metres should be maintained along the Main Street frontage. The matter was deferred until Dec. 7.

Sidewalk and walkway inspection and maintenance

The City of Penticton has over 130 kilometres of public sidewalks and 17 km of walkways throughout the municipality. The infrastructure varies in age, condition and public use. The proposed policy ensures that the high traffic sidewalks and walkways within the City are inspected and maintained. The policy outlines the service level and standards for repairs for all defects within the network. Areas of the community would be divided into zones, with Zone A including priority areas like sidewalks in Downtown Penticton, parks, beaches and walkways. The remainder of the community would fall into Zone B, which would involve inspection every five years to determine necessary repairs in line with the policy.  Council endorsed the policy.

Skaha Lake tower

Earlier this year, Council adopted Official Community Plan and zoning changes to allow for the development of three residential towers on a portion of the lot at 3388 Skaha Lake Rd. The new residential towers will be 14 storeys with 84 units in the first phase, with garden suites and 12 storeys in the second phase. The development will require upgrades in the size of sewer mains. Council approved the development permit for the first phase of the development, a 12-storey tower on the southwest portion of the site with 75 suites and 80 parking spaces as well as 37 spaces for bicycle storage.

Vacant building registrations

Council extended vacant building registrations for two properties in the city. At 597 Martin St., the property recently was sold and the new property owners intend to undertake renovations to the house by next summer. For 167 Warren Ave. West, a former long-term care home sought an extension of its registration; although the building is BC Building Code-compliant, the property is currently for sale.

Council meeting dates

Each year, Council must set the dates for its regular meetings and make the schedule available publicly. Regular meetings are generally the first and third Mondays of each month, unless that date lands on a statutory holiday or due to a conflict. The following dates were selected: Jan. 11, Jan. 18, Feb. 1, Feb. 15, March 7, March 21, April 4, April 18, May 2, May 16, June 6, June 20, July 4, July 18, Aug. 2, Aug. 15, Sept. 6, Sept. 19, Oct. 3, Oct. 17, Nov. 7, Nov. 21, Dec. 5 and Dec. 19. Meetings begin at 6 p.m.

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, Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw changes were adopted Monday night.

Casino and indoor amusement uses

Council adopted a zoning change to add “casino” to the definition of “indoor amusement, entertainment and recreation.”

Eckhardt Avenue parking

Council adopted 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 allows the site to be converted into a proper parking lot including paving, landscaping, lighting, curbing, storm water management and signage.

Delegating strata conversions

Council passed first three readings of a Development Procedures and Delegation Bylaw amendment that would delegate approving authority for strata conversion applications to staff. Applications would have to pertain to buildings of four or less units.

Ross Avenue double garage

Council approved a development variance permit for 745 Ross Ave., allowing a double garage 3.19 metres from the property line. The site has a single family home in a low-density area of the city of single-family homes, and a single-car detached garage is currently in front of the home. The applicant applied to locate an additional double-car garage in addition to the existing garage.

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.