City hopes owners will pay

The City of Penticton is going to try to have local property owners pay for over $820,000 in road upgrades in the area of Wylie Street and Burnaby Avenue.

A 35-unit townhouse development has been approved for the property formerly home to the Highland Motel and a RV Park, but local roadways are in major disrepair and in need of work before the project can proceed.

City council voted Tuesday to have staff develop a local service area, which would see six property owners in the area repay the city for the work over the next 20 years.

The payments will be distributed based on the frontage of each lot onto the road, with annual fees ranging from $3,255 up to $12,196 for the larger lots that will eventually hold several townhomes. The Days Inn is off the hook, as they have already paid the city for road upgrades as a part of its own development.

But there is a catch. The benefiting property owners have to vote in a majority to pay for the upgrades. If that vote fails, the developer of the townhouse development will have to pay for a scaled-back version of the road work as a part of the regular development process.

City councillors voiced hope Tuesday the area property owners would see the benefits to fully upgrading an area that struggles with excess water every spring.

“With increased densification that will be occurring in the surrounding area, there will be significant benefit to the community by having these improvements in place,” a report to council said.

Site work is currently underway on the townhouse development. The lot has been preloaded with fill to compress the soft ground, a process hoped to be completed within 12 months for the start of construction.

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