Council compromise paves way for vehicle access

Is it a lane or a walkway? The developer and neighbouring residents couldn’t agree either way, so Penticton council met them in the middle and called it both.

  • Sep. 20, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Is it a lane or a walkway?

The developer and neighbouring residents couldn’t agree either way, so Penticton council met them in the middle and called it both.

Council voted unanimously Monday to not only preserve the pedestrian and cyclist walkway in the lane running south from Lakeshore Drive to Churchill Avenue, but also ensure vehicles have access to the area in a compromised solution that would allow a four-plex development to proceed at 433 Churchill Ave.

On Sept. 6, council deferred the vote on the zoning bylaw amendment for the four-plex, which required a variance permit to allow for a slight reduction of side and backyard setbacks. The deferral came in response to the dozen residents who said during the public hearing they were opposed to the project’s parking plan because it could impinge on pedestrian traffic toward Okanagan Lake.

Anthony Haddad, the city’s development services director, said staff could tell early on a compromise would not be reached between the groups divided on whether or not to close the lanes to traffic.

In light of the split in the community, Haddad said the engineering department came up with four options for council to consider.

The first option called for a reduction of the travel portion of the lane to 3.5 metres and dedicating 2.5 metres as a pedestrian walkway that would be delineated through either pavement markings and/or a raised curb. A crosswalk would also be installed from the walkway across from Churchill Avenue. Vehicle traffic would be restricted to one way from Churchill south towards the east-west lane, which would remain a two-way lane. Signage would also be installed notifying vehicles of the crosswalk as well as notifying pedestrians of the shared laneway.

According to Haddad’s report, the changes would cost between $4,700 and $9,500, which would have to come from revisions to the city’s 2011 budget.

The second option would close the lane to vehicle traffic between Churchill and the east-west lane by installing bollards at both ends. This would also prevent the proposed development from having parking off the lane. The third and fourth options pertained to restricting traffic to the lane from Churchill by closing off one end of the lane with bollards. All four options also included a four-way stop and pavement markings to calm vehicle traffic.

Haddad said staff recommended the first option, because it “provides for an appropriate compromise to the situation” in the area.

He said the development complies with the city’s official community plan, and that four residential units will “detrimentally impact” traffic on the existing lane. Although recognizing residents’ concerns about pedestrian safety, he cautioned against solutions that would see the lane closed to traffic completely.

“This lane has always been used for vehicular access, and the lane is an important vehicular link to the east-west lane that runs from Winnipeg Street to Power Street,” Haddad said.

As a condition of approval, he said, plans should be submitted that illustrate the planter boxes fronting on the laneway be removed to ensure all fencing is transparent along the western property line of the development so cars have can have adequate visibility.

“I think everyone agreed that safe pedestrian access to the beach is essential and should be preserved,” Coun. Garry Litke said, adding while he feels bollards are a “temporary solution,” he remains optimistic a permanent fix could be found in the future. “We’re not closing the doors to better ideas.”

Coun. Mike Pearce said after meetings with staff, residents and the developers, no clear solution was found — leaving council to step in like a judge.

“We have to make the decision. Likely someone’s going to be upset,” he said. “I’m satisfied after reading everything that staff have done an excellent job. … I think it’s a good compromise.”

Council passed third reading of the development variance permit, including the first option to dedicate portions of the lane to both vehicles and pedestrians.

 

Just Posted

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

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Suspected Naramata homicide victim identified by police

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

(File photo)
Reports of aggressive deer in Penticton prompt warning from city

Expect female deer to be more aggressive over the next two months

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

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

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)
Condolences pour in for Kathy Richardson, Naramata’s 3rd homicide victim in recent weeks

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

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
More than 75% of B.C. adults have 1st dose of COVID vaccine

The federal government has confirmed a boost in the Moderna vaccine will be coming later this month

Airport ground crew offload a plane carrying just under 300,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine which is developed by the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies at Pearson International Airport during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, April 28, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
1st batch of Johnson & Johnson vaccines won’t be released in Canada over quality concerns

The vaccines were quarantined in April before they were distributed to provinces

The rainbow flag flies beside the Canadian flag outside the University of the Fraser Valley’s Chilliwack campus on June 26, 2020. Monday, June 14, 2021 is Flag Day, and also June is Pride Month. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Most Read