Hotel proposal back on city council agenda

A hotel proposal that has been stirring controversy in Penticton is back on city council’s agenda.

A hotel proposal that has been stirring controversy in Penticton is back on city council’s agenda.

Earlier this year, the city brought forward the possibility of building a new five-star hotel as part of the South Okanagan Events Centre complex, and asked for expressions of interest.

Colleen Pennington, the city’s economic development officer, confirmed staff has evaluated two expressions of interest, and will be taking the results to city council on Aug. 4.

“We have finished the evaluation. That is what we are presenting at council and looking for them to make a recommendation on where they want to go next,” said Pennington.

Pennington will be presenting the results to council at an in-camera meeting which occurs after the Western News press deadline. She hopes council will be able to report the outcome at the regular council meeting.

“Hopefully we can just go public with it right away,” she said. “We are hoping to resolve it as soon as possible, just to make sure there is certainty and everybody knows what the outcomes are.”

The request for expressions of interest was issued on May 15, with an original deadline of June 15. That was eventually extended to July 23 when additional research turned up a century-old indenture on the land that limited its use to park, sports and recreation, a horse racing track or public benefit.

The indenture specified that any other use required a referendum: “the assent of majority of the city’s duly qualified electors expressed in the same manner as at a vote for elections of members to a municipal council.”