Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Dec. 15, 2014 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

Community forest considered for 1400 Riddle Rd.

Following a public hearing, Penticton Council adopted bylaw changes to amend the Official Community Plan to designate1400 Riddle Rd. under “parks and recreation,” instead of the existing northeast sector designation. Historically the area has been used for ranching and cattle grazing, but has been recently recognized as a destination for outdoor recreation like mountain biking and hiking, with a lease provided to the Penticton Area Cycling Association to develop mountain bike terrain. The designation would protect the area as a natural community forest, and once accredited, the trees on the land could count as an “avoided forest conversion project” that would provide the City carbon offsets to achieve its climate action targets.

Main Street project

Council moved the next stages of the Downtown Plan forward, with the first phase of Main Street's new future. Since 2011, more than $8 million in new development and private investment has been made in Downtown Penticton, ranging from large-scale commercial developments, new multi-family residential development, renovations of existing buildings, and development of vacant sites.

Significant discussion has occurred about what public investment should happen in the immediate future, as an extensive public consultation and design process for Main Street has been held this year. Following this discussion, the Downtown Revitalization Select Advisory Committee made two recommendations to Council in terms of which projects to move forward: the 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street and endorsement of the proposed North Park design phased in over time.

The North Green revitalization of Gyro Park outlines a flexible and vibrant green space that adds trees, playground equipment and the ability to temporarily close Gyro to vehicles with a traffic re-routing available north of City Hall. Proposals for the 200 block of Main enhance the pedestrian environment by increasing the width of sidewalk areas on both sides of the street, and allowing businesses to use 2.65 metres of dedicated storefront use spaces. Parking and one-way traffic are both maintained, and underground infrastructure would also be improved.

There are several funding methods, including the Government of Canada's Canada Fund for small municipalities and Gas Tax Funds. Penticton Council endorsed the application to the Building Canada – Small Communities Grant program for the upgrading of Main Street from Lakeshore Dr. to Nanaimo Ave. Council gave third reading to the bylaw that would establish a local area service and to authorize the construction of street improvements in the first phase of Main Street.

Corry Place reconstruction project

Penticton Council supported beginning the Corry Place reconstruction project, giving first and second reading to the bylaw that would create a local area service tax to offset the cost of improvements. Final approval is subject to a “petition against” process, requiring owners to write in should they not want the project.

Dog control contract awarded

Penticton Council approved the appointment of Rose Gingras as the Dog Control Officer and Shelter Facility Manager and contract in the amount of $86,520 per annum with an annual increase by CPI for a term of three years and nine months, with a one-year option to renew.

2015 electrical rates options

A report on potential revisions to the 2015 electrical rates was presented to Council, including considering three separate components that affect prices.

First is the FortisBC increase of the price of power purchased by the City of Penticton, which is 3.5%. Second is the increase of the price FortisBC pays for power purchased from BC Hydro, which is 1.05%. Third is the adjustment to address timing issues related to the difference between when the FortisBC Rate and the BC Hydro flow through rate are instituted versus when the City of Penticton rate increase is put in place, calculated to be 0.05%. The BC Hydro rate increase will take effect Jan. 1, 2015. This yields an increase of 4.6%.

The increases listed above can be applied in different ways, and this creates three alternatives to be considered that have different impacts on customers. Alternative 1 applies the increase to the existing rate the City sells power; this has the largest impact on customers. Alternative 2 applies the increases to the rate the City purchases power at; this affects customers the least. Alternative 3 applies an average of the two.

  • Alternative 1 – Highest impact: Apply the FortisBC and BC Hydro increasesat the retail power sale level and the revenue difference increase at the retail power sale level for a total increase of 5.11%.
  • Alternative 2 – Lowest impact: Apply the FortisBC and BC Hydro increases at the wholesale power purchase level and the revenue difference increase at the Retail Power Sale level for a total increase of 3.7%.
  • Alternative 3 – Moderate impact: Apply an average of the FortisBC, BC Hydro and revenue difference increases at the retail level for a total increase of 4.4%.

Council agreed to begin the public notification process in advance of the public input session scheduled for Jan. 7, 2015.

Election overview

The Chief Election Officer gave an overview of the 2014 Civic Election and recommended amendments to the Elections Procedures Bylaws in a number of areas. Council considered the recommendations and directed changes to the Elections Procedures Bylaw for signage restrictions, a requirement for 25 signatures for nominations and additional voting opportunities.

Upper Bench Road variance

Penticton Council approved a development variance permit for 302 Upper Bench Rd. South to allow for the construction of a new home. The permit will waive the zoning requirement that a “farm help dwelling” may not contain a basement. This allows the property owner to construct a new home and maintain the existing home for farm-help staff.

Carriage house approved

A development variance permit for 492 Windsor Ave. was approved, allowing an increase in the allowable footprint of a carriage house. The main home is relatively small, one-storey home with a partially above-ground basement for 1,008 square feet. There is also a detached garage.

Cedar Road subdivision

Penticton Council passed first reading of zoning changes at 2750 Cedar Rd. that could allow for subdivision. The applicant intends to develop between 24 and 26 single family lots, and requires a low-density residential zoning. The application will go to public hearing Jan. 19.

Multi-family on Brunswick

Penticton council passed first reading of zoning changes for 101 Brunswick St. to allow a three storey, four-unit multi-family residential development. The application will go to public hearing Jan. 19.

Three Mile Road property

Penticton Council invited the property owner of 890 Three Mile Road to speak at the next meeting of Council on an outstanding matter. Inspections have been ongoing since March of 2014, and a Sec. 57 could be registered on title if corrective action is not taken. The next meeting of Council is Jan. 12.

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 79 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online