City finalizes plan for Penticton downtown

Property owner questions cost of revitalization efforts

After more than a year of planning, consultations, reviews and announcement, Penticton’s new downtown plan became official this week with hardly a protest and no fanfare.

Philip Lock, a property owner along Martin Street, was the only member of the public to speak against the downtown plan when it came to a public hearing Monday evening. In particular, he was concerned about the plans to beautify Westminster Avenue and Martin Street.

“They wanted to spend $1.2 million and the owners were going to contribute up to 25 per cent,” said Lock, who added it’s a pattern he’s seen before.

“About 15 years ago, we did a revitalization of downtown and nothing has changed. It’s still the same issue, the same problems,” said Lock.

“Downtown is as beautiful as any shopping centre I have been to. I don’t know why you would want to spend millions of dollars in this time of restraint, when that isn’t even the problem.”

The problem council needs to concentrate on, according to Lock, is increasing the number of people living in and within walking distance of downtown. He thinks the downtown population needs to be increased by at least 2,000 people.

“That’s how you are going to create a more vibrant downtown. Every 15 years, a new crop of people comes along, the want to beautify downtown, they want to do all sorts of incredible things,” said Lock. “They haven’t approached any of the owners, the owners are going to have to pay for this. I’ve just finished paying for the last one. Now you are going to ask me to pay for the new one.”

The plan includes everything from changing design esthetics to expanding the range of uses businesses can put sidewalk areas to, encouraging neighbour shops to join sidewalk areas to create mini “sidewalk plazas.” It also includes the possibility of reducing development cost charges in the downtown, or creating downtown economic investment zones to encourage new developments.

Council voted unanimously to approve and incorporate the new downtown plan as part of the city’s official community plan.


Just Posted

Geordie Fife exits the dunk tank during 2017’s Discovery House Father’s Day festivities at Skaha Lake Park. The fundraiser helps raise awareness of the work done at the house and break down the stigma associated with addiction. (Western News File)
Discovery House Father’s Day fundraiser goes digital

The addiction recovery program will be rolling out videos ahead of the fundraiser

The proposed design of the five-storey building on Front Street. (City of Penticton)
Five-storey building proposed for Penticton’s Front Street

It will be the second time the proposal will head to council

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from St. Eugene’s residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

RCMP thanked the public for assistance in finding Benjamin Archie, last seen in Princeton. (RCMP)
Missing Chilliwack man found safe and sound

The 80-year-old had walked away from his home in Chilliwack

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

Most Read