Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the Feb. 2, 2015 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

Regional District 2015-19 Financial Plan

Sandy Croteau, Chief Financial Officer for the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen, presented to Penticton Council an overview of the 2015-19 financial plan. The total requisition from Penticton is $1.59 million for 2015, up $177,000 from 2014. The RDOS is presenting the financial plan document to each member municipality prior to adoption at the March RDOS Board of Directors meeting.

City Five-Year Financial Plan approved

Penticton Council adopted the City's Five-Year Financial Plan. Earlier this month, City of Penticton council approved a 1.3% increase to cover a $326,230 shortfall. This follows on the City of Penticton's trend of keeping tax increases low and under Consumer Price Index (CPI) figures on inflation.

Mental health initiative

Rotary Club of Penticton representative Brian Hughes presented an overview of a two-year joint initiative being undertaken with School District 67 to improve mental health wellness in the community. The program involves several approaches, including role model presentations to students, youth leadership and peer mentoring, educating parents on the importance of support at home, community resources and networking agencies. Hughes identified that youth often do not seek help for many reasons: they are afraid of letting their parents know they are suffering, hope it will go away, afraid of what they'll hear when they get help, and stigma of asking for help. School staff, counsellors, health professionals will all be involved, and Rotary Club of Penticton is moving initiatives forward. The initiative kick-off is Feb. 17 at Cleland Theatre.

Three Mile Beach

Three residents of Three Mile Road presented an overview of some of the concerns they have experienced with respect to uses of Three Mile Beach. Historically, a segment of the beach was accessed via a piece of privately owned land that is no longer available. Some users have allegedly been trespassing over the privately held land, and property owners have indicated the clothing optional uses and extreme behaviour is impacting community use of the area. Council received the information and indicated staff will investigate the matter further.

Yorkton Avenue rezoning

Following a public hearing, Council deferred zoning changes for 96 Yorkton Ave. for 60 days. The application intended to change the permissible use to allow daycare operations for up to 20 children. Under provincial legislation, daycare centres for up to eight children can be operated despite local zoning restrictions, but is required to meet minimum play areas and health and safety standards. In the case where a daycare operator has more than eight children, zoning does apply. The deferral is for 60 days, to allow the applicant more time to consult the neighbourhood.

Corry Place reconstruction project

Penticton Council gave third reading to the bylaw that would create a local area service tax to offset the cost of improvements on Corry Place. City staff has been working alongside Corry Place residents for a year to develop designs that will repair the roadway, upgrade the infrastructure and help drainage issues. The “petition against” process for the reconstruction project was held in January, and no residents sent in a petition against the project or the proposed local area improvement fees.

Birch Avenue subdivision

Following a public hearing, Penticton Council gave second and third reading to a rezoning application for 739 Birch Ave. The lot is currently vacant, and the proposal calls for a subdivision of the lot and construction of two duplexes (one per lot). Duplexes are in line with the Official Community Plan's vision for the area, and the proponent has applied for a rezoning to “duplex housing – lane” designation. A development variance permit was also approved to allow the proposed 10.5-metre-wide lot, smaller than the 13-metre width required.

Water service connections

Penticton Council adopted changes to the Irrigation, Sewer and Water Bylaw, to allow additional flexibility on the number of water service connections, sanitary sewer service connections and storm sewer service connections for each property.

Visa credit card payments

Penticton Council adopted an amendment to the Credit Card Processing Fees bylaw. Visa Canada requires a change in the wording in the bylaw in order for Visa payments to be accepted, and the bylaw changes incorporate the required wording.

Bird Street variance

Penticton Council approved the development variance permit for 760 Bird Street, reducing the rear yard building setback to 4.5 metres. The application will accommodate a manufactured home on the property.

ALR application

Penticton Council supported the application to remove a section of land at 4203 Valleyview Rd. from the Agricultural Land Reserve. The property is on the east side of Skaha Lake, and a portion of the northeast section of the property falls within the ALR. The land is bedrock, however, making it extremely rock y and non-arable (unable to farm). The applicant is ultimately intending to subdivide3.5 acres for development.

Recreation on Three Blind Mice

Penticton Disc Golf Club has operated an 18-hole course at Three Blind Mice for five years. The group applied to formalize the tenure at Three Blind Mice, so that better targets, tee pads and signage can be developed with the hope of attracting tournaments. Council approved a non-exclusive, licence to use agreement with Penticton Disc Golf Club to use of a portion of 1400 Riddle Rd. (also known as Three Blind Mice) to formalize the existing use of a disc golf course.

Water grant application support

Penticton council gave their support to the Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Alliance's application to the Okanagan Basin Water Board for funding from the Water Conservation and Quality Improvement Grant.

Building Canada – Small Communities Grant

Penticton Council supported the City's application to the Building Canada Small Communities Grant program for the upgrading of Main Street from Lakeshore Drive to Nanaimo Avenue. The City's portion of the project costs are slated to be funded from water fund, electrical fund, local improvement charges and general capital. The City's grant writer is currently drawing up the application, and the Council resolution is the final piece of the submission package.

Utility rate review

Penticton council approved the expenditure of $60,000 to conduct a utility rate review in the coming year. Discussion during the 2015 budget deliberations covered water, sewer and electrical rates, administration fees, community dividend, and the process involved in setting those rates.

The review will cover utility revenues, expenditures, assess reserve balances and projections, administrative/dividend contributions, among other data based on the market. A comparison of what residential, commercial and industrial rates and how changes could potentially impact customers.

Cycling trail network

Staff has been developing cycling maps indicating bike routes in Penticton and the regional district, based on the Trails and Cycling Network as included in the Official Community Plan. In 2012, the City of Penticton undertook a significant consultation program to refine a cycling network proposal for inclusion in the OCP. It was formally adopted by Council in 2013.

A field review in the last year identified a few minor changes to the Trails and Cycling Network (Schedule F) of the OCP. These include:

· Incorporating Lakeshore Drive's multi-use path to reflect the construction completed in 2014.

· Change Ellis Street to the shared bike route, to reflect changes in 2014.

· Reroute the existing bicycle route at the intersection of Eckhardt Avenue and Government Street to improve safety.

Quarterly reports

Council received an update on strategic priorities and departmental work plans for the fourth quarter of 2014. The next quarterly update will be brought forward to Council in May 2015.

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 71 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, theMinutesare also available online