Downtown Penticton improvements one step closer

The next phase of Penticton's downtown revitalization is one step closer

A downtown makeover is one step closer to reality.

Planning manager Blake Laven announced Monday that the reverse petition process had failed, paving the way for a local service area tax to pay for the sidewalk and streetscape improvements.

The tax, when implemented, would require a 25 per cent contribution from property owners in the 100 and 200 blocks of Main Street to help pay for the estimated $2 million cost of the improvements. In order to prevent the city from going ahead with the tax, property owners would have had to submit a petition representing at least 50 per cent of the parcels and 50 per cent of the assessed value  in the affected area.

Council directed staff to begin the process at their Oct. 3 meeting and property owners were given 30 days, ending Nov. 14, to submit their petition.

According to Laven, only eight property owners had submitted petitions against the tax, representing nine votes out of a possible 34, and only $3,162,000 out of a total property value of over $31 million.

“Both of these were well below the 50 per cent threshold required,” said Laven. “The result is that the petition against the tax has failed and council may now proceed with the bylaw process.”

Laven said a staff report will be brought to council at the Dec. 15 regular meeting with direction on moving forward.