May 22, 2013 - 10:19 AM
With the first reading of the Downtown Plan approved, the City of Penticton is launching public sessions for residents and businesses to review the proposed vision for a revitalized Downtown Penticton.
“We are thrilled with the progress to date and excited to enter into the final stages of the Downtown Plan process, finalizing the direction for our community’s future,” said Barb Haynes, Chair of the Downtown Revitalization Select Committee. “We invite the public to learn about the plan and the exciting future in store for Downtown Penticton.”
The Downtown Plan is a long-term vision document that maps out 101 actions that, when completed incrementally, are designed to revitalize Downtown Penticton. The actions include large-scale projects that will occur over the long term like streetscapes, park space enhancements and Penticton Creek rehabilitation, as well as smaller projects like children’s playground equipment, washrooms, public art and other amenities that will benefit the downtown.
The plan has been developed using comments and feedback received during an intensive year of public consultation sessions held throughout 2012. Residents, businesses and stakeholders were invited to visioning open houses, focus group sessions, a five-day design charrette, funding workshop and market displays, in addition to taking part in surveys, questionnaires and one-on- one conversations.
The Downtown Plan is composed of five sections, with the first two devoted to the planning process and an overview of the research conducted to support recommendations and establish achievable goals. The third section outlines the “layers” in Downtown Penticton, or elements that permeate throughout the area like green spaces, land uses, mobility networks and infrastructure. The fourth section gives an overview of Penticton’s character areas, or pockets that have a unique identity that should be nurtured and sustained. Many urban design elements are found in the character area section.
The fifth section is called “Making the Plan Real,” identifying the 101 action items and step-by- step approach to implementing the plan and creating momentum for downtown revitalization. This section categorizes the short, medium and long-term priorities for the area, and lists policy changes that are required.
“The City condensed the planning process down to one year, which was an ambitious goal but extremely valuable in terms of getting to the heart of what the community wanted as a vision for their downtown,” said Anthony Haddad, Development Services Director. “No one project will revitalize our commercial core, but completing a series of policy changes and action items, big and small, will create a great deal of vibrancy in Downtown Penticton.”
The proposed plan will be introduced to the community during a series of information sessions scheduled for the coming weeks:
- Public information sessions will be held at the Saturday Market in Downtown Penticton on June 1, 8 and 15 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- An open house within the City Centre foyer (399 Main St.) will be held the afternoon of Thursday, June 6 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Once it is incorporated into the Official Community Plan, the Downtown Plan becomes a living document that informs City decisions in years to come. This is achieved by amending the OCP to include the plan, and this process includes three readings, a public hearing and final adoption. On Monday night, Council passed first reading and referred it to public hearing, scheduled for June 17.
Residents and businesses are invited to learn about the planning process and review the proposed Downtown Plan online at www.penticton.ca/downtown.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013