There were not many people in Penticton pleased to see a developer have the waterslides at 3388 Skaha Lake Rd. ripped downed after 25 years of summer fun back in September 2006.
But many saw it as the price a community such as Penticton, where people want to live, pays when developers decide there is money to made within its boundaries.
However, in the wake of a global economic meltdown, Mel Reeves’ plans to build a resort development on the site ran out of money and the property has sat in receivership relatively undeveloped ever since, but for a small portion of it in the southeast corner.
Penticton council will hold a public hearing on March 7 at 6 p.m. regarding the receiver’s request to both rezone the property back to designations similar to what it used to be prior to the development plans, and to re-subdivide the site into two separate lots: one on Skaha Lake Road and one on Wilson Street.
According to city planner Jacob Belobaba, the receiver believes the changes will make the property more marketable — and thus, from the city’s point of view, more likely to be developed.
“The proposed land use designations are congruent with the urban village concept, which calls for a diverse range of residential and commercial uses,” reported Belobaba. “Both development permit areas have guidelines in keeping with these objectives.
“Staff are confident that the intent of the urban village concept can be upheld.”
According to Mayor Dan Ashton, there are now parties showing interest in purchasing the site.
“It is a very large piece of property, one of the largest in Penticton. So it is garnering some interest,” said Ashton. “Penticton is still a place of choice in the Okanagan, and in my opinion a quality (place) for development.”
Ashton said development on the property would be beneficial to both residents of Penticton — looking for residential units to rent or buy — and to the municipality.
“The city has been facing a revenue crunch as revenues have dried up, so I would welcome something,” said Ashton. “It has been a long time coming there. So it would be nice to see something come to fruition on that property.”