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‘Potentially 12-storeys’: Penticton’s historic housing plan back in spotlight

Plan calls for construction of 11 buildings, between 1,200 and 1,500 residential units
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An early draft photo of the proposed development at 1074 Government Street in Penticton. Premilinary plans include 11 buildings, ranging in height from six to eight, or even 12-storeys. (Photo- City of Penticton)

Penticton’s largest housing plan will be subject to council’s review on March 5 — and bike lanes are expected to be mentioned.

A project that includes plans to construct 11 buildings ranging in height from six to eight and “potentially 12- storeys” at 1074 Government Street is back on council’s agenda after the project cleared the public hearing hurdle in October 2023.

The plan calls for between 1,200 and 1,500 residential apartments.

Council will be asked next month to review the zoning amendment bylaw, which could facilitate the construction of the “high-density” development.

But local politicians will also be prompted to decide whether to include multiple infrastructure projects into capital works master plans to support “the perceived impacts of the development.”

One of those projects is the installation of ”active transportation lanes” along Government Street, from Carmi Avenue to Duncan Avenue, according to an early draft report submitted to Penticton council.

Those premilinary plans may come as a surprise to some residents, especially after Coun. Amelia Boultbee in October brought forward a motion to stop all bike-lane-related talks at council for the next three years. Her motion —which only refers to bike lanes with concrete barriers — was approved.

As a result, the aforementioned plans on Government Street will not feature the barriers that can currently be seen on Penticton’s Fairview Road and Atkinson Street, city spokesperson Shane Mills confirmed in an email on Friday.

“The final version will reflect council’s resolution not to have separated concrete lanes,” Mills said.

The Government Street development would be located across the Penticton Regional Hospital and built in phases over many years. It would also leave the door open for the construction of hotels on the site, per the proposed zoning.

The property is 10 acres in size and located at the edge of the industrial area, which served as the central part of council’s debate during the public hearing in October.

“With this development in front of us, a lot of the ground level of this site will be creating jobs,” Penticton Mayor Julius Bloomfield said at the time. “It’s going from manufacturing to medical and services and that’s where the bigger money is.”

Council will be presented on March 5, with staff’s updated report on the development.

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