Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the April 22, 2014 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

Steamfest Week

Representatives from the Steamfest committee provided Council with information on the upcoming centennial celebrations for the S.S. Sicamous, which is celebrating its centennial in May 2014 and the Kettle Valley Railway in 2015. As a request from the Penticton Museum and Archives, May 19 to 24 was proclaimed Steamfest Week in recognition of the weeklong celebration of SS Sicamous's reign as “Queen of the Lake.” A special event with the launch of the SS Sicamous Stamp – with a limited edition print run – available May 19 from 10 a.m. to noon at the SS Sicamous.

Main Street project update

Penticton Council received an update from staff regarding the 2014 Main Street project. The Main Street project was identified as one of the many projects to be implemented from the recently adopted Downtown Plan. The project supports council Strategic Priority of Downtown Revitalization and was approved as part of the 2014 Capital Budget process. Discussion with the landowners so far has been incredibly positive to date, with a number of issues identified and addressed as phases of the design process are considered.

To incorporate the community into the dialogue, “Tell us about Your Main Street” consultation sessions will be held on two Saturdays at the Downtown Penticton Market – May 3 and 10, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feedback from the community on design elements such as sidewalk pavement surface treatment, street trees, lighting standards and other amenities will be sought. The interactive public engagement opportunity will allow the public to “touch and feel” a number of design elements that could be part of the streetscape design of Main Street.

To learn more about the project, visit www.penticton.ca/downtown.

Fleet GPS update

Council received an update report from staff on the GPS tracking system installed in the City fleet of vehicles. In April 2012, the City of Penticton partnered with municipalities in Vernon and Kelowna to buy a GPS fleet management system from Advantage Asset Tracking Systems – Geotab. The system was installed by August 2012, featuring a total of 107 units. The cost totalled $26,000 to buy the units, in addition to a monthly monitoring and service fee of $34.95 per unit. The current contract expires in June 2015. The systems allow managers the ability to monitor inefficient driver behaviours that create more fuel consumption like idling and speeding. For example, implementation of the system saw a one-year decrease in fuel of 22,800 litres, which means a cost savings of $29,350 to the City. This also results in a decrease in the City's carbon footprint of approximately 51,500 kg of CO2.

Solid waste rates

Penticton Council approved garbage and recycling collection fees. This will see solid waste collection cost property owners $132 per year, $45 per year for recycling collection and $47 annually per unit for multi-family recycling collection each week. The “tag-a-bag” program will also see a slight increase to $2.75 per tag for additional curbside collection. Council further directed staff to create a solid waste and recycle reserve account to be funded by the financial incentives that are received as compensation for participation in the Multi-Material BC recycling program.

Intersection changes

After additional consultations and stakeholder input, the City will move ahead with design and implementation of an all-way stop and crosswalk at the intersection of Dartmouth Road and Warren Avenue. Several complaints had come into the City about the safety of traffic flows and pedestrians in the area.

A consultant analyzed the two intersections of the intersection located at Dartmouth Road and Okanagan Avenue East back to staff to be reviewed again once the All Way Stop has been installed at Dartmouth and Warren and traffic patterns have stabilized. Traffic counts will be undertaken in the summer during peak hours at the intersection of Dartmouth Road and Okanagan Avenue East once the stop has been installed and traffic patterns have stabilized. Once that data is available, the information will be shared with Penticton Industrial Development Association and other stakeholders.

Mural approved

Penticton Council approved the request from the S.S. Sicamous Society for the installation of a large painted mural on the south facing exterior wall of the old Dredge shed located within the S.S. Sicamous Marine Park in recognition of the centennial celebrations of the S.S. Sicamous. The mural scene was selected from a photo which shows the SS Okanagan and SS Aberdeen on the water.

Storefront uses on Martin Street

Penticton Council passed second and third reading of a bylaw for Martin Street storefront use. The proposed bylaw was identified in the Downtown Plan as among the required policy changes that would help revitalize the commercial core. Storefront uses are when businesses maximize their available space to offer outdoor cafes, shop space and activities – making city sidewalks vibrant spaces for all. The bylaw outlines how best to use available storefront uses as well as design guidelines, offering options and variations to make the program accessible to a variety of businesses. Staff outlined the process businesses undertake to use their storefront spaces, making the application and installation process as simple as possible. While the proposed bylaw is specific to the Martin-Westminster project, the new concepts are intended to apply to other streets subject to revitalization in the future.

Credit card processing

Penticton Council passed three reading to a bylaw governing credit card processing, allowing the collection of a surcharge for credit card use. In 2013, the City of Penticton entered into an agreement with Paymentus Canada Corp. to allow Paymentus to accept credit card payments on behalf of the City for certain services. In order for Paymentus to continue to take payments from our customers and charge the cost of using Paymentus as a separate charge, the City needs to have a bylaw in place.

Scott Avenue apartment

Following a public hearing, Penticton Council postponed rezoning for the property located at 273 Scott Avenue from duplex housing to medium density residential to allow for the construction a four-storey, 16-unit apartment building. Council gave first reading to zoning amendments to the site in 2012 to allow for a three-storey, 17-unit apartment building; however, neighbours expressed concern during the 2012 public hearing about the size of the development for the lot. Council asked the developer to revise their plan after taking the neighbourhood's concerns into consideration. Following a public open house in 2013, the applicant was seeking a new public hearing in the rezoning process. After a lengthy public hearing, Council asked the developer to develop a proposal that fits within the property footprint and satisfies the neighbourhood's concerns.

Quarterly reports

Council received an update from staff on strategic priorities and departmental work plans for the first quarter of 2014. Penticton RCMP Supt. Kevin Hewco also provided Council with an overview of the detachment's calls for service, crime trends and arrests and charges. The report also outlined RCMP initiatives relating to youth, drug enforcement, traffic safety, community engagement as well as prolific and chronic nuisance offenders. The next quarterly update will be brought forward to Council in July 2014.

Hillside Winery receives endorsement

Penticton Council recommended to the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch that Hillside Winery Estates' liquor application be approved. The endorsement would allow for the addition of a lower patio (80 occupants) and the expansion of the occupant load for the exiting roof top patio from 35 to 114 occupants.

Temporary use for outdoor storage

Penticton Council denied a temporary use permit for the Shielings Motel located at 2509 South Main St. to allow outdoor storage on the property. Instead, Council asked staff to investigate the feasibility of addressing the existing road dedication on the property, which could encourage more on-site maintenance and upkeep.

Skaha Lake boat launch

Penticton Council approved the implementation of the 2014 boat trailer parking fees, including $5 for half-day (up to 5 hours), $10 for a full day (more than 5 hours) and $70 for a residents' annual pass. Annual resident passes will be available for purchase at City Hall. Photo ID and proof of residency will be required.

BC Transit agreements

Penticton Council authorized the 2014/2015 custom transit annual operating agreement and conventional transit annual operating agreement with B.C. Transit.

Development cost charges amendment

Penticton Council adopted amendments to the Development Cost Charges Reduction Bylaw to permit the submission of a bond rather than entering into a covenant.

Temporary fence rules

Penticton Council passed first reading of bylaw changes that would add rules around temporary fencing and site construction fencing. The proposed changes take into consideration that construction and temporary fencing can be important to ensure safety and security while a property is under demolition or construction. This type of fencing is typically considered unaesthetic, particularly in downtown, tourist and general commercial areas – but some more dormant sites have the items erected for quite some time. The proposed bylaw outlines how temporary and construction fences that are not permanently affixed to the ground is only permitted on properties with a valid building permit, demolition permit or during special events. The proposed changes also include a fine of $250 for violating the bylaw provisions. The zoning amendment will go to public hearing May 5.

Urban density application

Penticton council passed first reading of zoning changes for 601/609 Ellis St. to allow a duplex on each property with secondary suites and a parking structure. The project would yield a total of 12 units, adding densification of Downtown residential options. This requires a bylaw change to urban residential zoning from duplex. The application will go to public hearing May 5.

175 Kinney Avenue

Penticton Council passed first reading of Official Community Plan and zoning changes that would allow a medium-density project at 175 Kinney Ave. consisting of townhomes and four-storey apartment buildings. The applicant has indicated that the property cannot be developed or sold with the current OCP designation of park. They are seeking an OCP change to medium-density residential from parks and recreation, as well as a zoning change to comprehensive development from large-lot residential. Conceptual orientation plans attempt to minimize the potential impact to the view on neighbouring Cherry Lane Towers. Both zoning and OCP applications will go to public hearing May 5.

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 81 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online.