Penticton city council is considering a proposal to convert the former Super 8 motel to social housing.                                Western News file photo

Penticton city council is considering a proposal to convert the former Super 8 motel to social housing. Western News file photo

Two major projects go to public hearing

Penticton residents give input on a new hotel proposal and a motel conversion to social housing

The public is getting a chance to have their say on two major Penticton projects when they go to public hearing tomorrow.

First up is the conversion of the former Super 8 motel into housing for those in need of mental health services, persons suffering from addictions and persons in housing crisis, along with accommodations the city’s homeless and emergency weather response shelters, moving it out of the downtown.

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If approved, the new facility will undergo major renovations, and be run by the Penticton and District Society for Community Living in partnership with Interior Health and the Salvation Army.

The project is similar to the Fairhaven motel conversion, completed last year, and Skaha Sunrise, completed in 2010. The staff report acknowledges questions have been raised in the community about the location, which is in a prominent location on Main Street.

Citing the recent Housing Needs Assessment, which shows Penticton is short over 200 units of non-market supported housing, the staff report says need for this type of facility is evident, but there is always a question of appropriate location.

“The location selected by B.C. Housing for this project is, in staff’s consideration, a good location,” reads the report. “This is an area easily serviced by transit, is close to major shopping areas including several fast food restaurants, grocery stores and Value Village.

“More importantly, the site is close to the hospital and other emergency services.”

Renovations to the property will consist of cosmetic upgrades including painting, new flooring and general clean-up of the existing motel rooms. The major renovation will be the conversion of the pool area into the shelter.

The intent is for the emergency weather shelter to be open for November of this year as work on the Lon term housing units proceeds.

The second public hearing also deals with a form of housing, though even more temporary. Council taking public input on a new hotel proposed for the 900 block of Eckhardt Ave. West.

The application is to construct a four-story, 75-suite hotel across four properties, including the former Petrocan location, which shut down in 2013.

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This is the second hotel proposal for the South Okanagan Events Centre area. Earlier this year, council green lighted another application for a hotel a few blocks away on Eckhardt.

The staff report said the proposed hotel will contribute positively to the area, and the location of the site is ideally suited for commercial densification.

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“The transition from a petrol station and subsequent brownfield site to a brand-new hotel in a strategic gateway location for the City of Penticton is another step in a positive direction for our community,” reads the report.

The public hearings for both projects are scheduled for 6 p.m. on Aug. 15 in council chambers at City Hall.