People came to and stayed in Penticton for very specific reasons — small town, not an urban centre, easy to get around, less congested traffic, less stressful lifestyle and beautiful surroundings.
Urban planners from Vancouver are coming to help decide the future of our city. This may be the last chance to speak up and have your voice heard. Attend the public presentation on Sept, 17 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre from 7 to 9 p.m. Let them know what you want.
My biggest nightmare is for Penticton to go the way of Kelowna. Have you seen the massive blocks of apartment towers going in on Harvey Avenue and the traffic congestion? As the old motels and trailer parks are bought up in Penticton, consider the type of developments you would like to see in the city.
Suggestions to retain our beautiful city:
1. Moratorium on buildings over four-storeys for 10 years until we can see how congested the traffic becomes. We have few major traffic arteries and they are starting to reach peak levels. There is nowhere for the extra traffic to go.
2. Every development must include adequate parking for residences, customers and guests or there will continue to be a growing conflict with on street parking. All those baby boomers moving here will come with cars and the majority will not take the bus. Be realistic. Plan for this.
3. Never again should a development be allowed to block the established view of people who already live in the city. Continued development of tall towers will block the view of our lovely hills and we will become an urban jungle — the very thing we wanted to get away from.
4. Adequate set backs from the streets — keep the open feeling.
5. Good landscaping, tree lined streets (there is good xeriscaping or just weeds in gravel).
6. Every new development must have open green spaces and if they are family townhomes they must have a space for a playground.
If we don’t speak out, money interests will decide our future for us. Planners need to hear the wiser voices in the city that are saying: “Bigger is not better.” Moderation in development is the key to retaining our quality of life.
Make your voices heard before it is too late. If the city does not listen this time, remember this in the next election.