Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the April 20, 2015 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

SS Sicamous master plan

Council endorsed the SS Sicamous master plan and adopted bylaw changes that would incorporate the SS Sicamous vision into the Official Community Plan. The SS Sicamous master plan was created through months of public engagement and stakeholder consultation, and articulates the vision of the area based on an engaged planning process. An economic investment zone (EIZ) program is also being considered for the area, to encourage private investment that would support activity in the SS Sicamous area. For information, visit www.penticton.ca/waterfront.

Visioning Penticton exhibit

Shatford Okanagan School of the Arts Executive Director Jane Shaak introduced Penticton artist Larry Hunter and his “Visioning Penticton” exhibit now on display in Council Chambers. Mr. Hunter developed the images as part of the 2012 visioning exercises as the community considered what Downtown Penticton revitalization and waterfront enhancement could look like. The images are installed for six months in Council Chambers.

Bylaws and draw bows

Rick Hamilton, a Penticton resident, requested Council reconsider the City's Firearm Bylaw to remove draw bows from the list of prohibited firearms. An avid archer, Mr. Hamilton explained the sport of archery, and how it is often showcased in competitive events like the Olympics. Council directed staff to investigate potential bylaw changes.

Accommodation uses on 325 Power St.

Council passed first reading of a zoning amendment that would add “tourist accommodation” to allowed uses at 325 Power St. (also known as the SOEC complex). The Economic Development Office identified attraction of a premier hotel as a priority, estimating that $7 to $21 million in convention business has been lost in the last two years as a result of the current accommodation. Increasing conventions and delegate days would generate significant economic opportunity for Penticton. The site is zoned for public assembly, which allows for many types of uses: indoor and outdoor amusement, daycare, restaurants, as well as parks and recreation. It doesn't allow for accommodation, so adding “tourist accommodation” to the current zone is the first step in the process. The second step would involve inviting “expressions of interest” for use of the public lands, to ascertain what the private sector envisions as feasible development. A public open house will be held on April 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. in Room 3 of the Penticton Community Centre to provide the community with more information.

Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussels

Council agreed to enter into a stewardship agreement with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations for Three Mile Beach. The agreement surrounds the Rocky Mountain Ridged Mussel, listed as a “special concern” in Canada under the Species at Risk Act that is found in along the shoreline of Three Mile Beach. Careful management of the species and its habitat is needed through planning, stewardship and threat mitigation. This includes avoiding lakebed roto-tilling and dredging, in-filling or dumping material in the lake, hardening of the shoreline and placing structures in the water (docks, launches, etc.).

Sport and Event Tourism

Council approved a sport and event tourism agreement with Tourism Penticton, which articulates the resources and goals to attracting sports tourism in Penticton. The Economic Development Office has initiated work to validate the needs of the current event organizers and update work conducted in 2010 on sports tourism. Key barriers to growth were identified, creating a baseline for measuring success. Tourism Penticton would be responsible for achieving two key objectives: supporting the growth and sustainability of events in the area, and creating a process to attract new events. Economic Development will be responsible for the resident recruitment element to sports tourism. The Penticton Hospitality Association has committed to contributing $40,000 to support sport tourism initiatives.

Small lot development on Duncan

Council adopted zoning changes to allow two homes on 1473 Duncan Ave. East. The neighbourhood has seen duplex housing over the years, which is allowed under the Official Community Plan. Review of the site showed that two single-family detached homes would be a better fit for the lot and area. Following a public hearing, zoning changes from low-density residential to small-lot residential were approved.

Retaining wall

Council received a verbal update on the matter between two properties in the industrial area struggling with long-standing issues around retaining walls and uncontrolled drainage. Action Steel (2365 Barnes St.) and Penticton Self Storage Ltd (2360 Government St., operating as 101-380 Industrial Ave.) began reporting issues in 2013, and despite several attempts to find a resolution for the two parties, a retaining wall between the two properties failed. The nature of the grade and uses above cause a safety concern for the below property, and surface water has flooded the on-site premise. Council had considered a Section 57 notice on title and injunctive action, but referred the matter back to staff to facilitate one more meeting. The verbal report indicated the meeting resulted in an action plan for both parties that would work toward a resolution.

Duplex on Dynes

Council passed third reading of zoning changes that would allow a duplex on 1028 Dynes Ave. The neighbourhood is made up of mostly single family homes, with some multi-family and motel uses nearby. The lot is currently vacant, but the property owner is looking to build a side-by-side duplex. The application passed third reading after a public hearing.

Ecole Entre-Lacs recreation

Ecole Entre-Lacs had requested the City provide discounted recreation and rental rates for students. They were seeking discounts in line with rates provided to School District 67, which has a reciprocal agreement with the City to share recreational spaces like gymnasiums for rental. Ecole Entre-Lacs does not have the same level of recreational spaces to share, and therefore would cause a loss of revenue by this school and potentially more educational institutions who would want similar arrangements. Council directed staff to investigate potential non-School District 67 rates to accommodate students in other school districts.

Transit agreements

Penticton council approved the custom and conventional agreements for 2015-16 transit service. The agreements outline transit service proposed in the 2015 municipal budget, except for a $29,000 reduction representing the extra service requested. BC Transit has indicated it would be unable to provide the service expansion in 2015.

Quarterly update

A quarterly update outlining staff's work on Council strategic priorities and staff department work plans for the period of Jan. 1 to March 31, 2015, was received by Council for information.

Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 74 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online.