Penticton City Council highlights for November 8
Overall crime numbers continue to decline
RCMP show total reported crime was down five per cent from the same period one year earlier. Staff Sgt. Bob Vatamaniuck provided Council with the Q3 report at Tuesday’s meeting, which covered from July to September.
The numbers showed significant year-to-date declines in bicycle thefts, auto thefts, B&Es, thefts from vehicles and property theft. And while there was decrease in the third quarter in assaults, there was increase in uttering threats and sex offences, which Sgt. Vatamaniuck attributed to an educational campaign by the RCMP.
"We have created an education campaign to our youth in the community to really inform them what constitutes boundaries for sexual touching and for those type of occurrences, it can happen in relationship or [within] friendships even, and that's generated some files, especially amongst the youth," he explained.
An update was also provided on improvements to the local detachment’s Information Technology and Information Management programs that showed the investment has seen the average wait time for digital evidence drop from up to nine months down to two weeks.
Downtown weekend parking free for holidays
Parking in downtown Penticton will be free on Fridays and Saturdays in December.
Council approved the plan, which will cost an estimated $10,000 to $12,000, at Tuesday’s meeting.
A report from Bylaw Services manager Tina Mercier notes “with the additional activities taking place downtown during the Christmas season, the addition of free parking on Fridays and Saturdays will provide an additional incentive for customers to visit downtown and shop at one of our many local businesses.”
This will only apply to on-street metered parking stalls in Downtown Penticton. City parking lots and private parking lot rules remain in effect. The on street pay parking system will resume on Tuesday, January 2, 2024.
Utility rates close to final approval Council gave first, second and third readings to a bylaw which will set utility rates for 2024.
The average total monthly impact for residential users – including electrical, water, sewer and storm water – will be $16.30. For businesses, the average total monthly impact for businesses will be $80.48.
The combined anticipated revenue increase for the proposed rate changes in the Utility Fees and Charges is $5.6M. The change is a result of a combination of the recommended, interim, and smoothed rate changes as well as the customer growth anticipated by the 2023 Utility Rate Review.
City will apply for capital housing grant With plans to create a rental apartment housing project at 2509 South Main Street moving ahead, the City will apply for the Community Housing Fund (CHF) for a grant.
The project as currently designed, has 64 units, but may shift slightly up or down through the design refinement process. The project features 47 parking spaces and extra bicycle parking and amenity space.
The City does not have a partner operator at this time. Should the City be successful in receiving funding from the province, a process will be launched to find a housing operator.
Initial construction costs for the high density proposal are estimated at $21.4 million (approximately $335 k per unit). The full construction cost will be grant funded. The City’s contribution to the project would be the land in the form of a long term lease.
Short-term rental update Staff provided council with an update on the potential impact of changes introduced by the provincial government to short-term rentals in British Columbia.
The new legislation will require changes to the City of Penticton’s short-term rental program. Under Penticton’s rules, short-term rentals are allowed to be operated by anyone whether they live on site or not. In addition, definitions of short-term rentals will need to be amended in the business license and zoning bylaws, expanding the definition from 30 days to 90 days.
The province is currently drafting the regulations that will govern the changes.
Pilot project for grants gets go-ahead A pilot project designed to provide local groups operating out of City facilities and who produce special events has been approved by council.
The project will run for two years.
More details on the projects taking part in the program are available here
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)