The heritage of key neighbourhoods in Penticton like Lakeshore Drive, Front Street and Cherryland are up for discussion at city council’s Tuesday meeting.
Staff are recommending they proceed with amendments to the city’s zoning bylaw specific to properties along Lakeshore Drive and ‘Cherryland’ neighbourhood, including increasing front yard setbacks reflective of the historical distance from the street, increasing minimum lot widths, limiting maximum building heights and other zoning changes to ensure new development is reflective of the historical development pattern of the two areas.
Staff are also recommending that council direct staff to identify houses within the Lakeshore Drive and Cherryland neighbourhoods that can be added to the City’s Heritage Registry and create a Heritage Conservation Area (HCA) area for Front Street and the 100- 300 blocks of Main Street.
This comes after council approved what will be the tallest and largest multi-plex housing on Lakeshore. The development, at 602 Lakeshore Drive, saw the lot rezoned to medium density multiple housing and an eight-unit building will be placed on the property. The design of the building takes up most of the property, leaving very little frontage or greenspace to the sidewalk.
The development was controversial and brought out nearly two dozen speakers against it, along with two petitions and many letters to the editor.
Currently, Lakeshore Drive does not have a character and design plan set out by the city. This new proposals coming to council will address this.
At the Sept. 7, 2021 meeting, council gave direction to staff to examine heritage conservation values on Lakeshore Drive, Front Street and the Windsor Avenue area and to work with the Heritage and Museum Advisory Committee on the initiative.
Following that direction, staff have met with the committee on two occasions and hosted a special committee workshop on March 16th, as well as researched the three areas to understand each area’s unique history, current challenges and development pressures.
From the committee, of greatest concern is the belief that these neighbourhoods are “under siege” by development and there is no guidance in place for council when making decisions.
There is fear that a review process will take too long and further development applications will come forward while the review is undertaken. There was also recognition that there are several homes in the residential neighbourhoods that may not have heritage value and as a result, there is interest in seeing the form and character of the neighborhoods protected if these sites are redeveloped.
Staff are recommending engaging property owners directly. The zoning changes proposed for Lakeshore Drive and Cherryland, are less impactful than the creation of the HCA proposed for Front Street and Main Street. For the zoning changes, staff are recommending that a bylaw with the proposed changes be brought before council for first reading and then an open house with each neighbourhood be hosted by staff, followed by a public hearing on the matter prior to adoption of the changes, said staff in their report to council.
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