Council Highlights

Council Highlights

A brief and informal summary of the latest decisions made by Penticton City Council. 

Black History Month
Mayor Julius Bloomfield proclaimed February as Black History Month in Penticton. The Penticton Library has curated a list of resources to allow residents to educate themselves on the past and future contributions of the Black community.

Engagement on potential Martin Street development
Council has agreed to direct staff to commence public engagement for a proposed Official Community Plan future land use designation change on Martin Street.

The proposal, which would see zoning go from ‘Urban Residential’ to ‘Downtown Mixed Use’, is a 5-storey mixed-use development at 674 and 686 Martin Street. The development would feature commercial retail space at grade, along Martin Street, with 18 residential dwelling units on floors 2-4, and a common amenity area on floor 5. 

Fun times returning to rec department
After a bounce back year in 2022, the City’s recreation, arts and culture department is expecting the growth to continue.

Department manager Kelsey Johnson noted there were more than 135,000 visits to the pool, more than 35,000 visits to the fitness room, over 16,000 hours of sports facility rentals, the Cleland Theatre was booked for 105 days and a host of events returned to the community.

This year, Johnson says most areas are predicting a return to pre-pandemic levels or expects to surpass those targets. Family Day celebrations will be announced soon as well. 

Changes to liquor consumption in public places
A pilot project that began in 2020 to allow controlled drinking on certain beaches is now permanent.
City council gave three readings to the bylaw that allows liquor consumption in select parks and beaches along the Okanagan and Skaha lakefronts from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. year-round. Previously, the pilot project was only during the summer.

The program was extended as a pilot into the 2021 and 2022 tourist seasons as well, with few issues. The experiences from the Parks Department, RCMP, Bylaw teams and several service organizations (Downtown Penticton Association, Chamber and Travel Penticton) were carefully reviewed after each year, with general support to continue the program

Please remember to drink responsibly and ensure no litter is left behind.

Land use contract discharge bylaw 
Following a lengthy public hearing, Council gave second and third reading to the bylaw that would discharge the land use contract currently in effect for 302 Eckhardt Avenue West.

The proposal now goes to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure before coming back to Council for final approval.

Neighbourhood Charm recommendations not accepted
Council rejected restricting possible development in an underutilized area with growth potential given the significant housing needs of the community. 

Council received a report on the Neighbourhood Charm program that looked at introducing changes to the zoning bylaw to protect the character of the Lakeshore Drive West and the Cherryland neighbourhood.

The staff recommendation for bylaw changes was rejected, with council voting that any amendments be considered as part of a future review of the Official Community Plan which will look at housing needs as a whole.

Penticton looks for B.C. to match housing funds
City Council thinks the provincial government should establish a model that provides provincial funding equal or greater in value to any donated land a local government contributes for the purpose of attainable and affordable housing projects.

Council passed the motion and will now send it to the Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) where they hope to get support from councils across the region.

In making the motion, Mayor Julius Bloomfield notes a provincial policy ensuring provincial funds where a municipality offers land for use, allows the municipality to plan for needed growth across the housing continuum. Further, it demonstrates a commitment to developers, municipalities and operators that the Province is ready to participate meaningfully and in ways that support varying needs of local governments. 

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 ( or call the City’s Communication Department at 250-490-2400.