We not only have beautiful lakes and beach parks in Penticton, but we also have beautiful views of the hills.
One of the reasons that we were attracted to Penticton was the fact that it was a beautiful town nestled in a valley. We should protect those views.
In the new Official Community Plan, towers are designated to go in across from Walmart. If towers go in across from Walmart, our views of the mountains become obstructed.
I believe the city broke zoning laws, the old Official Community Plan and the word of city hall and put in this big block of towers obstructing the views of over 150 people.
Those people had paid premium prices for those views and, in the end, were seriously let down by city hall, who sold those views to another developer.
There was room for compromise here but no one listened to the people in the neighbourhood.
It is not just the view from our windows but also the view as we drive around the city.
It is the sense that we live in a rural community, not an urban one. If we wanted urban we would have chosen Kelowna. Some people may look at all these big buildings and see progress and money.
I look at it and see destruction of the unique semi-rural nature of Penticton. Take a look at what Harvey Avenue in Kelowna has become. We do not want that here.
When new proposals come through, please go to the site and walk around the neighbourhood to consider:
How will that project affect the people in the nearby community? Would you want to live next to it? Does it affect on-street parking? Is it a liveable, breathable space for families? Is there room for children to play? Do people have some privacy? Does it block the views of people nearby? Does it add beauty to the city and the neighbourhood? Is it adding too much density to the neighbourhood?
Developing just for the sake of developing is not the way to plan a community. It is a way to destroy a community.
The council and the planning department need to demand more from developers and stop giving variances.
If you stand firm, they may scream for awhile, but they will eventually comply.