The City of Penticton is facing a lawsuit over a development on Lakeshore Drive.
A newly formed organization called the Penticton Society for Transparent Governance and Responsible Development filed the civil petition in BC Supreme Court in Kelowna on April 5.
The lawsuit seeks to force a review of the city and council’s approval in order to revoke the development variances that were approved on Jan. 18.
That decision was a split vote, with Couns. Julius Bloomfield, Katie Robinson, Campbell Watt and Mayor John Vassilaki all supporting the project, while James Miller, Frank Regeher and Judy Sentes opposed it as presented.
The society was incorporated on March 30, and its directors — Peter Gerald Achtem, Jeanette Shawn Beaven, Gary Vernon Denton and Dennis George Hayashi — are named in the petition to the court.
According to the court documents, the purpose of the society is to ensure the city adheres to its zoning bylaws.
The development is an eight-unit residential complex built on the property, which required both rezoning and variances to be approved by council.
According to the lawsuit, what council approved is in excess of the size of the property allowed, and that the need for variances underscores this. Under the city’s zoning bylaw, the property’s 1,112-square-metre coverage is below the minimum of 1,400 for the RM3 zoning, and more than twice the 540 area required for the previous RM2 zoning.
“By purporting to rezone this property, [the city] has attempted to create a new zone in which properties that do not meet the width and size requirements of RM3 can nonetheless be developed to the extend provided under RM3.” the lawsuit reads. “[The city] has purported to do indirectly what it cannot do directly.”
The controversial development saw dozens of residents provide feedback in a public hearing and through written correspondence to the city prior to approval.
None of the allegations in the lawsuit have been proven in court.
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