The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize the appearance of its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)

The City of Penticton is beginning plans to revitalize the appearance of its north entrance on Highway 97. (Jesse Day - Western News)

Penticton residents invited to reimagine city entrance

First impressions matter, city says

Penticton wants to make the right first impression as people enter the city from the north along Highway 97.

The city is set to begin a plan for redevelopment and design of the area around Highway 97 when people first enter the city — and they are looking for the public’s feedback.

These lands, called the North Gateway lands, surround the South Okanagan Events Centre complex and the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre. They are bordered by Riverside Drive to the north and west, Power Street to the east and Hwy 97 to the south.

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The city’s general manager of community services Anthony Haddad said that the area is currently home to large underused pieces of land prime for future growth and development.

“Within the plan area, large underutilized parcels of land have the opportunity to contribute positively to the future growth and development of this area,” said Haddad. “With its location surrounded by natural amenities such as Okanagan Lake, the river channel and the golf course lands, the North Gateway provides a unique opportunity for our community.”

The plan will look at land use and density, form and character, infrastructure and amenities, way-finding and entrance signage and transportation.

The city says they also plan to communicate closely with the landowners, community stakeholders and surrounding community. So far, the city has heard from landowners and they are now ready to open the conversation to hear from the community.

“The first round of engagement will invite the community, landowners and stakeholder organizations to provide staff with an understanding of how people use this area, why they use it and how it can be improved to help shape the long-term vision for the area,” said Haddad.

Residents will have the opportunity to provide input into an online mapping activity, complete a feedback form and submit ideas for April 21 May 19.

More information about the project and process, and the engagement activities can be found at Citizens who are not online can provide their suggestions at the kiosk at the Penticton Public Library.

“Council is excited about the potential of this area and hope that the community will get involved in this visioning exercise,” said Mayor John Vassilaki.

Once input is gathered from stakeholders and the community, staff will prepare a draft plan that will be reviewed again with the community before it is shared with council for a decision.

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