Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the June 18, 2012 meeting of Penticton Council.

Honorary Councillor from Wiltse Elementary

Mayor Dan Ashton introduces Richter Heintz, a Grade 3 student from Wiltse Elementary, who joined Council as an honorary councillor for the evening. Richter was voted by his peers to represent them at the Penticton Council meeting, and the youthful political protégé was able to sit at the Council table in Council Chambers as proceedings unfolded. He asked the Mayor about future development in the Wiltse area. Richter moved to close the meeting, and he was given a pin, reusable lunch bag, book, mug and Penticton Community Centre passes for his service on Council.

City considers renaming street after Vees

Council unanimously approved a recommendation from the Heritage and Museum Advisory Committee that asked that staff be directed to investigate changing the name of the north section of Railway Street from Eckhardt Avenue to Wade Avenue in recognition of the Penticton Vees.

Coun. Helena Konanz, who sits on the Committee, said the name change would reflect the record-setting year that the Penticton Vees saw during this last 2011-2012 season, in addition to the World Champion Vees from 1955.

Eckhardt Avenue properties update

A verbal update was received by Council in regards to the Eckhardt Avenue properties request for proposals (RFP) process. On April 3rd, the City of Penticton embarked upon a Request for Proposal (RFP) process to dispose of the municipal owned lands at 903-969 Eckhardt Avenue West.

The RFP process commenced on April 3, 2012 and closed to submissions on May 8, 2012. Advertising for the RFP involved advertisements on the City of Penticton website, BC Bid and in the following media outlets: Business in Vancouver, Calgary Sun, Edmonton Sun, Vancouver Sun, Vancouver Province, Penticton Western and the Penticton Herald. A “for sale” sign was also posted on the subject parcel of land. Three proposals were submitted as part of the RFP process. Each proposal was evaluated using a number of different criteria: the proposed purchase price for the lots; the proposed development of the lots; how the proponent intends to address the builders' liens; and the proponent's experience and ability to undertake the proposed development.

The City completed evaluation of all proposals received and determined that none of the proposals were satisfactory to the City. Accordingly, the City is terminating the RFP process.

GranFondo permit approved

Organizers of Valley First GranFondo Axel Merckx Okanagan outlined during a delegation how traffic will be controlled during the Sunday, July 8 event – the second annual cycling race that is seeing significant expansion. Organizers outlined how the transit plan is a balance between maintaining safety for participants and mitigating inconvenience for the travelling public. Council issued a road closure permit to Valley First GranFondo Axel Merckx Okanagan to close the streets on Sunday, July 8. The major cycling event is expected to attract up to 2,400 participants for the full GranFondo (160 km), MedioFondo (90 km) or CortoFondo (55 km) races.

Deer management update provided

Council received an update from staff regarding the deer management strategy. On May 18, staff and local volunteers conducted a spring deer count of the City, which was divided up into nine zones. Teams drove the City to count deer at 6 a.m., and 20 deer were spotted during this count in addition to vegetation damaged or destroyed by deer. Ministry of Environment officials had been advising staff on how to conduct a deer count, and have since indicated that low numbers have been found by all communities conducting spring counts as many mule deer that winter in the City will have migrated back up the hill and pregnant does become more secretive as they are about to give birth. Fall counts conducted by other municipalities have shown significantly higher numbers in urban deer population, and this would be required in advance of applying for a cull permit from the Ministry. Staff noted that $10,000 has been budgeted for the capture cull process, and an RFQ will be required to determine the ultimate costs of such a management tactic.

Goose relocation program considered

Penticton Council considered a staff recommendation to take part in the regional Canada goose banding and relocation program through the 2012 Okanagan Regional Goose Management Committee. Penticton has had an active goose management program for many years, including goose deterrence, public education and habitat modification. The banding study is in the first of three years to determine population numbers, activities and sources. Seasonal relocation of moulting geese that cannot fly is an encouraged method to manage local geese problems. In 2012, the City would temporarily relocate moulting geese from high use public parks and beaches to areas that will have less conflict during summer months. Best-practice guidelines would be followed relating to capture methods.

Poplar Grove Winery receives endorsement

Council recommended to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch that it approve the application from Poplar Grove Winery at 425 Middle Bench Rd. for winery lounge and special event area endorsements. The subject property is within the Naramata Bench neighbourhood and along a rural collector road. The endorsements allow patrons to purchase and consume wine in a designated lounge area as well as host special events like weddings, concerts or promotional events. Poplar Grove proposes to open a 6-seat indoor restaurant with a 64-seat patio, engaging Vanilla Pod formerly of Summerland to run the facility.

Lakeside patios receive recommendation

Council recommended to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch to approve the application from Penticton Lakeside Resort to increase its occupant load to 163 for the Bufflehead Pasta and Tapas Room patio and 221 occupants for the Barking Parrott Bar patio, for a total increase of 34 additional persons.

Notice on title considered

Council considered a staff report about placing a notice on title at 288 Westminster Ave. West for contravention of building bylaw. A business licence application was filed in August of 2011 to relocate an existing home-based business into a commercial suite at 288 Westminster, and a property file search found outstanding permit violations were on record and that no further business licences could be issued until the matter was resolved. The main concern was with the creation of multiple commercial rental suites without the benefit of building permits or issuance of business licences. Staff attempted to work with the owner to achieve compliance.

Council supported the staff report to begin the notification process. The owner of 288 Westminster will be notified of the issue and will be invited to speak at the next regular meeting of Council, scheduled for July 3.

Late-night hours adjusted

Council approved a request from The Mule Night Club to amend three of the special event dates when the facility is permitted a 4 a.m. liquor sale closure. The original dates were approved by Council on March 5. Club management sought to change three original dates of June 29, Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 to include July 1, July 27 and July 28 instead.

Highway signage under review

Council authorized staff to work with the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce, Penticton and Wine Country Tourism and Ministry of Transportation to update and improve the Highway 97 corridor informational signage, including a move to an international sign format.

City staff had been reviewing existing signage along the Highway 97 corridor and found little uniformity to messaging present, some important elements were not signed and highway rights-of-way look cluttered and disorganized. During discussions, the Ministry advised City staff that they are in the process of launching a new highway signage program and has indicated they would work with the City to improve signage.

This will result in change, however, for the community. Allowing Chamber and Tourism representatives to be part of the discussions would allow for engagement to ensure broad perspectives will be applied to the process.

UBCM resolution calls for review of new accounting standard

Council unanimously endorsed a resolution to be referred to the Union of B.C. Municipalities regarding the liability of contaminated sites adopted by the Public Sector Accounting Board in 2010 for inclusion in the handbook. The resolution notes that including contaminated sites in the handbook as liabilities will create onerous and costly reporting requirements for all levels of government, universities, school boards and hospitals under the Public Sector Accounting Standards. Council will ask UBCM to lobby the federal government to postpone implementation of the standards until further consultation is held with all levels of the public sector as it relates to costs associated with implementing the initiative.

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