Letters to the Editor

Developer shouldn’t be allowed to side-step bylaws

I want to start off this letter by saying something positive.  The residents of Scott Avenue in Penticton are wonderful people.  We are a community.  The residents have always stopped to talk to us when we were working on our house or in the yard, exchanging pleasantries or offering us much needed advice when we were having trouble.  The residents of Scott Avenue are fantastic.

We live at 269 Scott Avenue. There is an existing apartment building on our east side, which was there when we bought our house.  As prudent buyers, we inquired at City Hall as to whether the lot at 273 Scott Avenue could be developed as an apartment complex and we were told by the city planning department that even though this area is in the Official Community Plan for higher density housing, the lot was much too small to build an apartment building.  On the basis of this advice, we bought our home.   Additionally, since our lot is zoned duplex as is 273 Scott, my elderly parents invested their life’s savings to help build a duplex on our existing house so that they could be closer to their grandchildren.

In 2012, the same developer of a Winnipeg street building made an application for rezoning and for variances in the setbacks to allow a 17-unit apartment building on this lot.  Our neighborhood told the City of Penticton we didn’t want a 17-unit apartment building on this narrow lot to just 1.5 meters from the side property lines.  It is just unsafe, how could the fire department access either side to put out a fire.  City council decided to hold the application until the proposed building could be built within the bylaws in force.

We are once again facing the spectre of having an apartment building constructed on the duplex zoned lot beside us. Previously it was a three-storey building, and now it is a four-storey building. The developer claims to have made concessions in the new design, the footprint of the building is smaller and they have reduced the number of units from 17 to 16.  The developer is asking for no less than four variances.  In a nutshell, the developer has not purchased sufficient land to build within the established city bylaws for setbacks, coverage, parking etc. and it appears city hall is expected to make concessions to the detriment of the neighborhood.  This is In effect using the neighbours’ land for setbacks.

Our family is not against development of the property next door.  In fact we would prefer that the owner of the property improve it from its present condition.

All the other apartments on our street meet the current city bylaws in terms of setbacks from property lines.  These developers have ensured that they had enough area to build attractive higher density housing that doesn’t impose itself on its neighbors and making a nicely mixed neighborhood of duplexes, single family dwellings and apartment complexes.  We ask that the same standards be applied to the development next to us.

If the city opens the door to this type of development, then where does it stop?  As homeowners you should be worried that this could happen to you.  We urge you to come to the council meeting April 22 at 6 p.m. to voice your concerns. This is an issue that concerns all residents of Penticton.

Doug and Gwen Tarbet

Penticton

*****

CBC brass should get boot

Once again our Crown corporations have failed the citizens of Canada.

A few months ago CBC announced that it had sold their rights to Hockey Night in Canada to Shaw Cable, and now CBC has announced that because of the loss of a projected $100 million dollars in ad revenue provided by Hockey Night in Canada they will be forced to lay off over 650 personnel.

In my opinion the first to be laid off should be the governors of CBC.

They have shown that they are short-sighted and incompetent.

Donald E Thorsteinson

Penticton

*****

Laundromat opens doors for grandmothers

I am a member of a group of volunteers who raise funds to assist widows and orphans in desperate need in Africa.

We are a non profit organization called Gifts to Grandmothers and have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars over the past seven years.

A local business called Go Fresh Laundromat has generously volunteered to sell our handmade tote bags and shoulder bags over the past few years, taking no commission and promoting and encouraging the sales in order to support this worthwhile cause giving 100 per cent of the profit from every sale to help orphans and widows in desperate need.

Their generosity and support has been truly incredible and it is such a wonderful good news story and certainly a credit to the city of Penticton to have such devoted and generous business people.

If there is ever a recognition award for the best community minded business I would like to recommend Anne Mieke and Rudie Smits who own and operate Go Fresh Laundromat and Cafe.

On May 3 and 4, they are opening up their business to encourage local artists to showcase their talents and sell their art work as well as selling the handbags to raise funds to support the work of Gifts to Grandmothers.

Is there any way that I can get information about how the public can become aware of Anne Mieke and Rudie’s amazing generosity and the event that they are planning.

Thank you

Darlene Garrie

Kelowna

*****

Stamp club season coming to a close

On Sunday, May 4, the Penticton and District Stamp Club will be having their last club meeting of the season at the Penticton United Church on Main Street starting at 2 p.m.

It will be an auction meeting where members will be putting some of their stamps up for auction and importantly where we will be auctioning all donated stamps.

Proceeds of the donated material will be going to our favourite charities, Moog House, Cancer and the Penticton Regional Hospital.

Our June 1 meeting will see us have the annual general meeting, including election of the 2014/15 executive.

This meeting will take place at the Penticton Buffet at 2787 Skaha Lake Rd starting at 12:30 p.m. The stamp club will have a summer recess until Sept. 7 when we will return to the United Church for our regular meetings.

Donations of stamps towards our auctions can be given to Gus Boersma, 250-492-3875; gboersma@telus.net throughout the summer months.

Have a great Easter and a lovely summer.

Gus Boersma

Penticton

*****

Nobody deserves to die

I’ve noticed a rather disturbing trend with professional media outlets the past decade or so cheap tabloid-like reporting, seemingly getting worse and worse as the years go by.

Whenever a person dies an unnatural or suspicious death, or when our saintly police forces are involved in the slightest degree, the newspapers diligently report to the slavering public that the deceased person was known to police.

Why?  What is the point of this?

It’s tragic enough the person lost their life, but now it must be publicized with a not-so-veiled implication that they deserved it because they were known to police?

Truly?

There are plenty of good-hearted and good-natured people who unfortunately have criminal records.

These people give their time and monies to charity, help old ladies across the street, take in and nurture injured animals, and give comforting words and deeds to those who are hurt and suffering.

But all those nuances that define the term human being mean nothing to certain uncouth newspaper editors whose only apparent care in the world is ratings and profit-margin via sensationalism.

God forbid an editor ever runs afoul of the law.  One can only hope their successor follows due diligence and reduces their life’s good work to a mere label once they give up the ghost, a label touted by those who don’t exactly have a sterling record for crimes as a corporate whole, either, it must be stated.

The idiom, the greatness of a nation can be judged by how it treats its weakest member, can be suitably translated in this context, for there is none more unable to defend themselves than those who have lost their lives.

Ridiculing the dead is hardly becoming of a great nation, or that of a decent human being and it’s painfully disrespectful to family members in mourning.

It’s tantamount to desecrating their grave with libelous graffiti.   For shame.  Many publications will receive this letter.  It should prove interesting who has conscience to print it.

Farren McDonald

Port Coquitlam

 

 

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