Changes may be coming to Penticton’s Good Neighbour Bylaw to address “antisocial behaviour” downtown.
“The city’s Good Neighbour Bylaw requires updating to address circumstances and conditions not considered when the bylaw was originally developed, including the frequency and location of individuals occupying space for the purpose of sleeping, drug use, antisocial behaviour or panhandling,” said director of planning and development, Anthony Haddad, in a news release.
City staff are seeking council support to change the bylaw so the definition of street includes the space between a storefront and a sidewalk and that under the definition of obstruction to include “sit or lie on a street” located between 100 and 300 Ellis Street, 200 to 400 Martin Street and 100 to 700 block of Main Street between May 1 and Sept. 30 inclusive.
Haddad said the locations were identified as places where pedestrian traffic gathers downtown for special events and markets. Additionally, these locations also support public and private investment projects aimed a bringing more people and vibrancy into the downtown.
“With over $100 million of new private investment and close to $20 million in public investment taking place in the downtown since the adoption of the city’s downtown plan in 2013, the positive momentum built over recent years will continue by further enhancing our public spaces for our residents, businesses and visitors,” said Haddad. “New residential development alone, which includes a mix of affordable housing, market rentals and condominiums, have contributed to increasing the number of new residents living in and around the downtown; bringing new residential density and life to the heart of our city.”
City staff believe the range of usages being proposed for suitable public spaces will receive a positive response from the community and from those interested in participating in the various initiatives. Whether they be businesses looking to innovate outside of their buildings, local artists wishing to entertain the community, or locals wanting to create a new pop-up event in a public space downtown, all of these activities will continue to enhance the downtown that our businesses and residents have created.
Members of the public can review both reports on the May 21 council meeting agenda package, located on the city’s website.
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