June 20, 2014 - 4:43 PM
PENTICTON — The downtown lot that was not too long ago a teaching garden, is now a patch of levelled land. The city recently took back claim of the property after a temporary use license was not renewed by a local gardening organization.
The property at Ellis Street and Nanaimo Avenue was formerly the home of an urban garden, where members of the Penticton Urban Agriculture Association used their green thumbs to teach new gardeners how it’s all done. They also donated the fresh produce grown in the garden to the Food Bank and Soupateria.
Back in March, Council discussed license renewal opportunities with the association but after a couple months, association members decided they weren't going to continue growing their garden on that property. So they packed up their tools and planters at the end of May and were on their way.
The city recently levelled the property by covering it with soil recycled from the capital works construction. Staff said it was a maintenance call, and council hasn't discussed options for the site since the gardening association declined a new contract.
“For zero cost we were able to take those millings, bring them to the site… straight, fresh off the grinder and address an issue on the site in terms of weed control,” said Simone Blais, communications director for the city.
There was talk at previous council meetings about needing more parking, especially on Saturdays, but no decisions have been made, said Simone Blais, the city's communications director.
There is currently a parking lot beside the old garden space, directly on the corner of Ellis Street and Nanaimo Avenue. If the property in question was to become a parking lot, a large chunk of land between Robinson Street and Ellis Street would be 100 percent parking space.
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