A brief and informal summary of the latest decisions made by Penticton City Council.
Acting on community safety
Council is moving forward to gain support for mental health in Penticton on two fronts.
A letter expressing the City’s interest in participating in the Canadian Mental Health Association’s PACT program will be sent and another request for a Car 40 program will be made to Interior Health.
The decisions came after two presentations to City Council.
Jonny Morris of the CMHA outlined the success of PACT (Peer Assisted Care Teams) in three other B.C. communities and the desire to expand the program. It is a community-based mental health response designed to divert calls away from police and emergency services.
And following a presentation by Dr. Curt Griffiths, who co-authored the recently released Community Safety Resources review, council agreed to use the data within the report to once again press Interior Health for a Car 40 program which pairs a mental health worker with a police officer.
Penticton has been pushing for this program for more than a year. Interior Health recently announced the expansion of Car 40 in Kamloops and Kelowna.
Trying out open houses
City council will hold a trial open house to get feedback from Penticton residents. Public question period and council roundtable during council meetings will remain unchanged.
A motion that would have seen quarterly town hall meetings in place of public question period was not supported. Instead, council decided to trial an open house that would include all of council and then review whether to continue.
Ask a question, share an idea, or simply chat and get to know your members of Council. Stay tuned for details.
LocoLanding taking in washrooms
Council agreed to make a small addition to the LocoLanding Adventure Golf lease which would see the existing washrooms become part of the adventure park.
With the installation of new accessible washrooms in Riverside Park, the City had planned to demolish the existing washrooms at a cost of $20,000. LocoLanding requested they be allowed to take over the old washrooms and would take over maintenance and repairs, as well as any future demolition costs.
The new washrooms are planned to be opened in spring.
Plenty of movement coming for BC Transit
An update from BC Transit indicates riders can expect some changes in the next year or so.
Council heard that new fare technology will be implemented later this year, which will allow for contact-free payment and a mobile app. The plan will also include, eventually, acceptance of credit and debit cards. Cash will remain an option as well.
BC Transit has also has two reviews of service underway.
The South Okanagan-Similkameen Transit Future Action Plan, which looks at transit service and infrastructure over the next five to seven years. The plan, which calls for approximately 14,000 annual service hours and at least four additional vehicles by 2030, will be presented to councils later this spring.
As well, BC Transit is conducting the Penticton Transit Network Restructure Plan to identify short- and medium-term improvements within the city. Public engagement will take place later this month and will include survey and open houses. For more info, go to engage.bctransit.com/penticton2023 starting January 23.
Move to allow staff to approve minor development variance permits
City Council has given staff direction to prepare necessary amendments to “Development Procedures and Delegation Bylaw No. 2010-92” to allow minor development variance permits to be delegated to staff for approval.
The province changed legislation in late November 2021 to allow for minor development permits to be approved by staff rather than having to go to council for approval. The intent of the new legislation was to provide local governments with more power to simplify and speed up the development approval process, and in turn, get the homes people need built faster.
Off to public hearing
A four-unit project on Forestbrook Drive received first reading for rezoning that would allow it to proceed. Next step in the project a public hearing on the project on February 7.
Also going to public hearing on February 7 is a bylaw that would see Land Use Contract for 302 Eckhardt Avenue West be discharged. The contract will expire, as will all land use contracts in British Columbia, in June 2024 but the developers are asking for the contract to be discharged early so they can begin construction of their approved project this year.
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.