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Parking a contentious issue for proposed 3-storey apartment building in Penticton

Developers hope to build at 655 Ellis Street and plan on providing a total of 17 parking spaces
The proposed 3-storey, 16-unit apartment building at 655 Ellis Street in Penticton. (Photo- City of Penticton)

A proposed three-storey, 16-unit apartment building in Penticton is going to a public hearing on Sept. 6.

Council voted to send the project to the next phase at its meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 16. after being presented with a plan that would see 655 Ellis occupied by an apartment featuring 11 one-bedroom units and five two-bedroom units.

The development would provide 17 parking spaces in total, three short of what the zoning bylaw calls for.

To cover the parking shortage, the developer is proposing to pay $26,000 in lieu of two spaces and provide five additional bicycle parking spots to compensate for the remaining missing stall.

“I understand fully the opportunity is given to developers to buy their way out of parking,” said Coun. Judy Sentes. “But at this point, I’m challenging the worth of that.”

During her time on Penticton council, Sentes says parking has remained a “trigger” issue for community members regarding new developments.

“Parking, parking, parking…I hear that all the time,” she added. “And here, we’re letting (the developer) out of parking.”

The councillor hopes the lack of parking at the proposed building will be addressed, but also says the project “is a good use of a big space.”

Many respondents who participated in the community engagement process noted that 17 parking spaces for 16 units is insufficient, according to city staff.

Other concerns included congestion in the area, with respondents noting that access onto Eckhardt Ave. East is difficult already and the proposed apartment would only make matters worse.

READ MORE: Proposed 10-unit duplex development in Penticton shot down by council


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