City launches Vibrant Penticton downtown visioning sessions

The City of Penticton is inviting the entire community to take part in open house visioning sessions this month to help craft Downtown Penticton revitalization plans.

"History shows when we invest in Penticton's downtown, the entire City flourishes. Everyone's lives are affected by the downtown area," said Barb Haynes, the Executive Director of the Downtown Penticton Association who also chairs the City's Downtown Revitalization Select Committee. "These visioning sessions are the first of many opportunities for the entire community and all stakeholders to tell us what their vision is for the downtown. We are listening and responding."

Downtown revitalization is among Council's strategic priorities, in addition to waterfront revitalization. These projects fall under the Vibrant Penticton banner that has the vision of "Penticton – a vibrant, innovative, adventurous waterfront City focused on sustainability, community and economic opportunity."

The Committee is embarking on the first public engagement process for downtown revitalization, called visioning. Open house sessions featuring interactive displays and surveys have been designed to gauge citizen and stakeholder sentiment on the downtown as it is today, and what they would like to see most in the future.

The following visioning sessions are scheduled:

• Monday, April 23, 1 to 8 p.m.: 284 Main St. (next to Blenz Coffee)

• Tuesday, April 24, 2 to 8 p.m.: Seniors' Drop-in Centre, 2965 South Main St.

• Wednesday, April 25, 1 to 8 p.m.: Okanagan College, 583 Duncan Ave. West

Once the vision stage is complete, the Downtown Revitalization Select Committee will move to the third of seven planning phases, called the "learning phase." This will include various activities with targeted groups that will focus the feedback and input provided on things like transportation and parking.

"The City is inviting input from residents, businesses and all other stakeholders on everything from our streetscapes, places and spaces, culture, and the nuts and bolts of the downtown like infrastructure," said Anthony Haddad, the Director of Development Services.

"We really want to hear how, when and why people use the downtown, and what their vision is for the area to guide the City's decisions for the years to come."

Residents and stakeholders are welcome to give their input and feedback at any time by emailing downtown@penticton.ca. Regular updates on the Downtown Revitalization Select Committee's progress will also be available at www.penticton.ca/downtown.