LETTER: No consult with Penticton residents

Not once, in all these years have I ever heard the Downtown Penticton Association consult with residents.

I was reading a Dale Boyd article (Penticton Western News, Aug. 19, Hot and cold on downtown) when out of the mouth of DPA executive director Lynn Allin came this.

Allin said she has plans to improve communication between business owners, building owners, the DPA and the board of directors.

She’s quoted: “It is something the DPA is looking at, to just bring that sort of whole look from the start to the finish of the DPA property area.”

Not once, in all these years of barricades, attitude and forcefulness have I ever heard them consult with residents who live in the area.

Let’s be clear. If the association has, through a city money-bylaw, declared a certain area to be designated as a collection of property owners wishing and willing to borrow a specific amount over time, and make payments to cover improvements to their street fronts that’s  one thing.  But in no way does this area become DPA’s property.

I commend the story for recognizing that John Vassilaki just opened nine stores. John has over the years invested in and helped build up Penticton’s downtown region, sticking around long enough for their kids and grandkids to see what business is all about. John’s a good citizen and one who listens to the opinions of the residents.

There are thousands of residents, both property owners and renters, living in the downtown nucleus. I’m sure Vasillaki and the other original downtowners are well aware how tolerant the public have been over the years, embracing tourists in summer, putting up with or being part of Ironman, Peach Fest (and parade) and other major events that often affect the norm, and now even Challenge, which is more than a day.

Why on earth is this (can’t even call it Saturday morning anymore) monstrosity, a so-called “market” that will, if this latest developing news is true, be allowed to stretch 1.2 kilometres one-way?

That’s a whole lot of parking spaces the city is allowing this monster of a slug to gobble up. It’s an inconvenience that strips local residents of the right to shop, attend appointments, funerals, and  numerous other activities — never once been consulted regarding the total blockage syndrome that appears to be afflicting Penticton’s DPA mindset these days.

They have also taken over all of the intersections and invaded cross-streets, including Wade Avenue, and now likely Eckhardt. All major east-west traffic-movers.

There’s no possible way for the driving public to get to the other side without negotiating a maze of half-streets, deadends, one-ways, you name it. If ever there was an accident waiting to happen, this is it.

Let’s face it. Being liked on Facebook, re-tweeted on Twitter, ‘communicated’ about in our city power bill inserts, and sticky-noted to death at a booth are not real communication, nor real publicity.

They’re all one-sided and imagined.

Cutting off residents and tourists alike, cutting elderly people out, blocking the way of disabled, dismissing non-social businesses for six months of the year — it’s all quite frankly enough to piss anyone off.

We’d rather head to Summerland, Peachland, West Kelowna or the U.S. than fight this mob they call a market.

To the city of Penticton (including Max Picton) what part of zoning do you not understand?

You are turning a blind-eye to the creation of a major danger zone in our city. It’s congestion beyond reason, and unsafe.

In conclusion the DPA began as an association (people who organize for a common purpose).  It’s now turned into a greed-like body which feeds on the oozing of its boundaries with an unstoppable force.  It’s time to stop. The DPA is not an entity. It’s become an amoeba.

Jean Mitchell

Penticton