Penticton Council Highlights

The following is a snapshot of what transpired during the May 4, 2015 regular meeting of Penticton Council.

Mental Health Week

May 4-10 was proclaimed Mental Health Week in the City of Penticton, to encourage the community to work together to dispel the stigma, and afford those struggling with mental health the same acceptance, compassion and care as we do for other medical issues. About 50% of mental health issues arise before the age of 18, and it's estimated that 12.6% of children and youth aged 4 to 17 years in British Columbia experience mental illness at any given time, and of those, only 20% receive the treatment and care they need. Stigma continues to surround mental health issues, making it difficult for those who are struggling to reach out for help and compounding risks such as youth suicide. The South Okanagan Action Team for Mental Health, alongside partners across the country, seeks to create public awareness and acknowledge the thousands of children, youth, families and individuals needing mental health support and care across Canada. For info, visit

Lyme Sucks Challenge

Council took the “Lyme Sucks Challenge” Monday by sucking on a lime wedge, as part of a campaign to raise awareness of Lyme disease. Lyme disease is difficult to diagnose because it imitates other conditions and no reliable laboratory test can prove who is infected or bacterial-free, which often leads to misdiagnosis. Early indicators of infection include flu-like symptoms, characterized by chills, headache, fatigue, muscle and joint aches and swollen lymph nodes. Patients with untreated (and even under-treated) Lyme disease can suffer from serious, permanent and sometimes life-threatening damage to the brain, joints, heart, eyes, liver, spleen, blood vessels and kidneys.

Penticton Creek restoration

Grant funding was secured in 2013 from the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund to develop a project plan over four years. The Penticton Creek Restoration Committee was struck with a variety of expertise in the area of flood protection, conservation and First Nations, to oversee a planning process to determine if restoration would be feasible. The first 2 years have been dedicated to study and assessment, and Year 3 is focused on the Penticton Creek showcase project in 2015. The Committee has articulated goals to be: flood protection, restoring fish habitat and fixing failing infrastructure.

A sample project is proposed for a small section (80 metres) of Penticton Creek upstream from the Ellis Street Bridge. This site was chosen to address severe maintenance issues, show the community the transformation in a visible area and potentially have a substantial improvement of fish habitat. This is supported by grant funding from several sources, including the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund (HCTF) and Recreational Fishery Conservation Partnership Program.

Learn more by visiting the Penticton Creek restoration page.

Friends of the Oxbows

Rick McKelvey from Friends of the Oxbows gave an update on the urban wetlands known as the Oxbows area around the Okanagan River Channel. He outlined some of the challenges with invasive plants, tree clearing, debris and sediment collection, as well as opportunities for restoration of riparian vegetation and riparian habitat.

Interior Health update

Interior Health provided an update on the Patient Care Tower project. Three proponents have been short-listed to move forward to the request for proposal (RFP) process, and progress is moving ahead for construction to begin in coming years with scheduled opening in 2019. A program update indicated that increased focus will be paid on management of chronic disease and preventative care. An outreach centre will be opening next Friday at the Martin Street offices, and 23 specialists have been recruited to Penticton to serve local patients –they have already begun reaching out to communities like Princeton.

Dynes duplex

Council adopted final 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.

Lakeside Road variance

Penticton council passed a development variance permit for 4013 Lakeside Rd. to decrease the minimum side-yard setback from 1.2 metres to 0.1metre. The property owner had been building a garage in 2013, but failed to fully establish the property lines, and the eaves extend past the line onto neighbouring property. An inspection was conducted and a stop-work order was issued on July 4, 2014, and the Planning Department has worked with the applicant to come up with a solution.

Power Street townhomes

Penticton council approved a development permit for the construction of 15 townhouse style strata units at 152, 168 and 184 Power St. A variance would be sought to reduce the minimum side or rear yard setbacks, but the overall development would only use 30% of the site (compared to the 50% allowed).

Cronies liquor licence

Council approved a liquor licence application for Cronies Auto Parts Ltd. forward to the next step in the process. Christine Cronie owns and operates Cronies Auto Parts, which is an auto parts and wine-making accessory retail business. Cronies was seeking a liquor primary licence endorsement with hours of operation from Sunday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., allowing a maximum of 30 people inside and 10 people on an exterior patio. Council also asked staff to investigate parking capacity and options in the Ellis Street area to address neighbourhood concerns.

Lounge at Bench 1775 Winery

Bench 1775 Winery was proposing a winery lounge and special event area (SEA) endorsement to its liquor licence. The winery at 1775 Naramata Rd. is looking to add food and beverage service in the main areas, and special events for weddings, private dinners and special tastings. The liquor licence change would accommodate an interior lounge for 24 people, exterior lounge of 40 people and an additional tasting room and special event area for 33 people. Council approved the winery's lounge application, but referred the SEA application back to staff to address neighbourhood comments around noise and traffic.

Purchasing policy update

Council approved updates to the City's Purchasing Policy, which had last been updated in 2011. The policy outlines the method of obtaining quotes for various values of purchases and assigns spending authority to positions to approve such purchases. Changes included adjustments to authority levels, definitions for allowable single-source/direct award purchasing, electronic RFP submissions as well as sustainable purchasing elements that encourage the City to support locally made and environmentally responsible products.

Strata conversion

Council approved a strata-conversion for 483 Maurice St. The first phase of the project began construction in 2007, and occupancy was issued in 2010. After the building was completed, a strata plan was registered with the Land Title Office.

Fees and charges bylaw

Penticton council gave three readings to the Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw, to introduce a reduced fee for electrical customers who receive a site visit due to non-payment, but don't have power disconnected due to arrangements made ($34). Fees around electrical service payment plan for customers investing in upgraded infrastructure to allow for commercial operations.

 Council Highlights are written by communications staff at the City of Penticton. A PDF version [PDF - 409 KB] is available for download. If you require an official record of Council meeting resolutions, the Minutes are also available online.