I am a retired individual, coming up on 74 years of age, I should be enjoying my retirement and not watching every move by city council and city staff.
Council gave the Wildstone Group first three readings so far, by a vote of four to three to extend the Economic Investment Zone Bylaw deadline from Dec. 31, 2019, to June 30, 2020, on the Ellis One building. Council will be voting and giving final approval on this matter on Sept. 3 at 1 p.m., so time is of the essence.
The disclosure documents the developer and real estate listing agent give to the prospective purchasers of the units should have had a disclosure statement attached. The attached disclosure statement should have stated that if the city has not issued an occupancy permit to the developer by Dec. 31, 2019, then the Ellis One building will not qualify for the 10-year property tax exemption.
Therefore, on Jan. 1, 2020, the prospective purchaser should have the option to walk away from the agreement, if they are relying on the funds from the property tax exemption for the 10 year period. Also, the Wildstone Group could say to the prospective purchasers, that they will reduce the purchase price of the units to compensate for the potential purchaser for the property tax reduction over the 10 year period. The Wildstone Group still has the option to complete the Ellis One building by Dec. 31, 2019, and qualify the building for the savings under the EIZ rules.
Instead, the Wildstone Group feel that it is the responsibility of the Penticton taxpayers to possibly fund the approximately $500,000 loss of profits on the project. The Wildstone Group will probably make millions from the sale of this project.
I am really not interested in why the Wildstone Group are not able to complete the project on time, the Wildstone Group knew the rules under the EIZ program and if they cannot obtain the occupancy permit from the city by Dec. 31, 2019, they have a decision on how to retain the prospective purchasers. And that decision should not include the bank accounts of the Penticton taxpayers.
My concern is standing up and demanding fairness to the Penticton taxpayers. If you won’t fight for your rights, roll over and open your cheque book—that decision is yours and yours alone.
In closing, we should all send a thank you email to Mayor Vassilaki, Couns. Regehr and Kimberly for having a conscience and voting against the motion, again a big thank you.