A brief and informal summary of the latest decisions made by Penticton City Council.
Paid parking freeze until April
City Council has agreed to freeze paid parking on downtown streets until the end of March.
Councilor Ryan Graham brought forth a motion asking for the pause, along with a return to a two-hour time limit, while City Council examines the future of paid parking during the upcoming budget process.
The estimated cost of the pause is $200,000.
Electric Rates Held to Two Per Cent
After six years without an increase, City of Penticton residents will see a two per cent increase in electric rates next year.
The staff report called for a five per cent increase to cover rising costs but a motion introduced by Councillor Helena Konanz to reduce the amount was passed. Originally, Councillor Konanz proposed a zero per cent increase over the next year but – at the suggestion of Councillor James Miller – that was amended to two per cent and passed by a 4-3 vote.
Final adoption of the rates is expected at the December 20 meeting.
Council earlier in the meeting received a report outlining the 2023 Utility Rate Review which will cover a general review of revenues and expenditures, as well as detailed analysis of some specific items that have come up over the past few years as it relates to rate equity, including:
- a review of the electrical dividend and how it is determined
- a review of how expenses are split between the basic and variable elements of the rates, and
- potential implementation of a variable rate structure for treated water to support conservation goals.
Rates will also be compared internally to ensure rate equity amongst the various rate classes (residential, commercial and industrial), as well as externally to assess rate competitiveness.
The final report is expected in June.
The timing of the 2022 election means changes to the timing of the City’s annual financial planning.
Normally, the process would have been held during the period that was covered by the election. Angela Campbell, the City’s director of finance and administration, laid out for City Council the updated process which will incorporate council’s strategic planning and allow for public engagement. The final budget will be approved April 18.
For more details on the timing of this year’s budget process, click here
As well, Council was presented with the Third Quarter Financial Report that showed an increase in overall revenues of $1.16 million. For more on the Q3 Report, click here
As part of an update to the Fees and Charges Bylaw, short-term rental fees will see an increase next year.
The anticipated increase of revenue from these fee adjustments is $70,000, which will allow for better monitoring, enforcement, and compliance ad bring the program closer in alignment to the fees charged in similar, neighbouring municipalities.
Final adoption of the rates – which also cover business licences, cemetery fees and other fees - is expected at the December 20 meeting.
Approval for commercial space
An application for a Development Variance Permit at 302 Eckhardt Avenue West was approved.
The applicant sought a 1.0 metre variance at the location, better known as the home of Bogner’s. The proposal, which would see construction of a three-storey commercial building, does not require rezoning, as the property is currently zoned for commercial use.
Public hearing for proposed Riverside project
A development that would feature 28 studio units, 117 one-bedroom units, and 89 two-bedroom units will head to public hearing on December 20.
The development is proposed to be built in two phases, phase 1 with 96 units on the Wylie St side and phase 2 with 138 units on the Riverside Drive side. The development is designed with a two-storey parking podium flanked with units on the street facing sides and two four-storey towers and could be used for vacation rentals.
New housing passes next hurdle
After a public hearing resulted in changes by the applicant, Council approved the next step for an eight-unit development at 770 Argyle Street.
The project is a multi-family development on the property that features four duplex buildings (eight dwelling units). Staff notes the proposed development has been designed with the Official Community Plan policies in mind and with consideration of impacts on neighbouring property owners.
Before adoption of the bylaw, the applicant will be required to register a 1.1m road dedication along the western property line (Argyle Street) with the Land Title Office.
These highlights are intended to provide a brief summary of recent Council proceedings. The summary is not inclusive of all agenda items. For a detailed account of the full agenda, including staff reports, other supporting documents and official meeting minutes, please consult the City’s website (www.penticton.ca/council) or call the City’s Communication Department at 250-490-2400.