The City of Penticton is wrapping up four current issues into one open house on Aug. 28. File photo

Penticton blends topics for open house

Upcoming open house to address pot, parking and more

Selling cannabis, parking, sewage and building bylaws may not have much to do with each other, but the City of Penticton is blending all four issues into one open house later this month.

The open house — from 4 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 28 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre — offers residents a chance to discuss the legalization of cannabis in the city, the future of waste water solids management, findings from the South Okanagan Events Centre parking study and proposed changes to the building bylaws at four separate stations.

“These are four important projects that are in various stages of development but all at a point of needing input from the community,” said JoAnne Kleb, the city’s engagement strategist. “Blending the topics into a single event is an effective use of residents’ time and city resources and should create a great environment for juicy dialogue.”

In keeping with the city’s theme of blending four “juicy” topics, attendees are invited to enjoy a complimentary fresh juice or smoothie while they look over the presentations.

Over the next few weeks, staff will provide more information about each topic leading up to the open house.

An overview of the topics and the information that will be shared is provided below. Anyone not able to attend the open house will have the opportunity to review the information and share their feedback online at beginning August 24.

“Our hope is that residents may come for one topic but will stay to learn more about the other three,” said Kleb. “It is a bit of an experiment so if we find that citizens need more time to discuss one or more of the topics, we will make that happen.”

The cannabis framework discussion focuses on determining the rules for the retail sales and public use of cannabis in Penticton when it is legalized in October.

Related: No prohibition on pot shops going legit in Penticton legalization process

Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback on the proposed framework at the open house. Feedback collected will be used to refine the framework and prepare the necessary policies and procedures to review with council in the fall.

The SOEC parking study, updating the 2015 study, is collecting fresh data on parking demand in order to identify opportunities to better manage available parking.

Related: City of Penticton begins parking study

A survey has already been conducted, and parking counts done during typical and busy weekends at the site, including during the John Fogerty concert to capture data during a special event.

Residents will have the opportunity to review the complete findings and discuss the resulting recommendations at the open house.

The City of Penticton began looking at the future of managing the solids from the wastewater treatment process, which are trucked to the Campbell Mountain Landfill and composted.

Related: City taking a new look at compost

The compost site is aging and needs a significant investment to bring it into compliance with current regulations, according to the city. The purpose of the review is to determine whether or not the current process is the best investment for the future.

The city reviewed 23 different processes for treating the waste water solids and is developing a shortlist of options to discuss with the community.

Staff will be on hand to discuss the findings from the review and gather feedback on the shortlist in order to prepare a recommendation for council in the fall.

The final topic, modernizing Penticton’s building bylaws to keep in step with changes to the provincial Building Act and other industry codes as well as phase in the recommendations from the new B.C. Energy Step Code.

The changes will affect the requirements for residential and commercial construction, which the city wants to review with residents and gather feedback on the plan to phase in the recommendations before taking the bylaw to council this fall.

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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