Penticton city council decided to table discussions about the recently reviewed Official Community Plan (OCP) until last-minute concerns addressed at the July 15 public hearing could be addressed. The OCP will return to council for its second and third bylaw reading on Aug. 6. (Google Maps image)

Penticton OCP not quite ready, returns to council Aug. 6

City council voted to table discussions about community plan until last-minute concerns addressed

Penticton city council has decided the city’s road map to future development needs a little more fine tuning.

At the regular meeting on Tuesday, council voted 4-3 to table discussions about the Official Community Plan (OCP) until Aug. 6, allowing time for the issues raised during the Monday night’s public hearing to be addressed.

According to Mayor John Vassilaki, who attended the July 15 public hearing, about 17 separate concerns were noted in the plan by attendees at the open house.

Those concerns, which were summarized by city staff in the presentation to council July 16, revolved around carriage houses and their uses, downtown heritage buildings and the disbanded heritage committee, hillside development and preserving the natural landscape and site-specific concerns about a property within the Agricultural Land Reserve.

City staff clarified that the OCP task force, which unanimously voted to bring the plan before council to be given its second and third bylaw reading, had previously discussed all of the noted issues at some level.

READ MORE: City of Penticton sharing OCP drafts

“This seems to be getting very specific for an OCP, which are guidelines at broader brush strokes, and here we’re getting into the nitty gritty,” said Coun. Julius Bloomfield, one of the opposing votes to tabling the matter until Aug. 6.

“I was rather privileged to sit for the entire time of this revisiting of the OCP and I was very impressed with the cohesiveness of a very large group, and their dedication in getting to the meetings and providing the input,” said Coun. Judy Sentes. “And the initiative of staff to engage other elements of the community. And what I was reminded of last night is that regardless of how many opportunities are made for engagement, some people don’t necessarily understand what’s coming forward … but at least they got there (to the public hearing).

“I did go away last night thinking maybe we could address some of this a little bit better.”

The OCP task force worked on the plan for more than two years, at a cost of $261,000 to Penticton taxpayers. It is meant to help inform decisions and future development until 2045.

Couns. Campbell Watt and Katie Robinson voted to table the discussion, saying they believed the OCP could be tweaked after its adoption.

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Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
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