Bringing together local needs and the tourism orientation of Penticton’s North Gateway plan – Vernon Morning Star


Plans to change the face of Penticton’s North Gate are progressing slowly and will soon be presented to the public.

The Western News got an overview of the presentation and some of the work that took place during Design Charity Week on September 15.

This week brought together stakeholders from the North Gateway region, along with five architects and designers, to begin work on what could eventually become a guiding vision for the entire region that would link both tourism interest and local needs for future developments.

“A diverse choice of housing will be important for residents. The most prosperous cities, the local community love it, and people will come to these communities from all over the world, ”said Anthony Haddad, general manager of community services in the city. “You have to build it for the people in the community, you can’t just expect visitors to come and buy all this land, it has to be a local approach. “

What came out of design week were 10 key points; three entrance gates, referring to the intersection of Power Street and Westminster Avenue, the intersection of Eckhardt Avenue and Highway 97, and the intersection of Riverside and Highway 97; three corridors, referring to the corridors of Power Street, Westminster Ave. and Highway 97; and three districts, which divided the area into a core around SOEC, a southern section along Highway 97, and a northern section along Westminster Ave.

The last key aspect that was discussed and considered was a festival boulevard, separate from Hwy 97 which would start from the Vees Drive roundabout, along the side of the freeway before curving to connect with Burnaby Ave .; as well as other accommodation and hotel room options.

“Last year we saw a great focus on the area, with the El Rancho project, the Villa Rosa project, Riverside all of that,” Haddad said.

Some of these immediate upcoming projects would bring as many as 200 new hotel rooms, including 105 in the Villa Rosa project alone.

The forty actors worked for several days on different sections of the district alongside the teams and designers of the city.

“It has been a pretty intense week, and now we are preparing the draft plan to bring to the whole community,” Haddad said. “We would have liked to have everyone in the room, but we had good community representatives. “

Discussions also included representatives from Travel Penticton, the Downtown Penticton Association, the Parks Committee, the Arts Committee and other community groups.

Work and discussions have continued since January, and the plan is expected to be presented to the public this month on for further comment, before it goes to city council.

The Department of Transportation is one of the organizations the city has been discussing with slowing traffic in the city and finding ways to improve the alignment of Highway 97 and make it more attractive to people not only from to travel, but to make them want to stay in town.

Housing is a major issue that was identified before the charette and introduced into planning, and with 300 residential units in the initial stages of approval on the El Rancho property, there are as many as 2,000 in total that the city identified as potentially adaptable to the area.

“Housing was really important to understand, one of the big discussions here was about employee housing and affordable housing,” Haddad said.

One of the options that has been raised and considered could see the city take part of the land it owns in the region and build housing on the city’s land.

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