Penticton will almost certainly get a new hotel near the South Okanagan Events Centre, after a zoning amendment for the project breezed through a public hearing Tuesday evening.
The proposed hotel, in the 900-block of Eckhardt Avenue and potentially bearing the Ramada brand, went to public hearing Tuesday evening but saw no speakers come forward to speak in favour or opposition to the development. Nor were any letters submitted on the rezoning application for the lot.
Following the public hearing, only one councillor spoke on the issue before council voted unanimously in favour of the development.
“I’ve been on council long enough and lived in this community long enough to know that it has always been a challenge to our Penticton Trade and Convention Centre as we look for conventions … that we just don’t have enough quality rooms,” Coun. Judy Sentes said.
“Here we have, in my opinion, an ideal situation: a local family willing to come forward and invest in our community. This is exactly what we need.”
Having passed first and second reading, the hotel will need to go through third reading, but with no opposition so far, it’s unlikely that the development would not succeed at that level.
It was one of two developments in a quiet public hearing that could have attracted some crowds.
Earlier that night, a proposed social housing project at the former Super 8 motel passed first and second reading in council in a 5-2 vote, after only two people came out against the project — one in writing, and the other both in writing and in person.
The hotel would add another 75 units to the city’s stock of hotel rooms, and is estimated to cost around $10.3 million to build.
It’s expected to add $79,000 per year to the city’s coffers, building on the site’s current tax rate of $6,300 per year.
City staff say a traffic study will be completed and included in a final report for council’s approval.
The project is one of two hotels proposed for Eckhardt Avenue, with another developer proposing 95 rooms for the former bingo hall, potentially under the Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites brand.