Penticton & South Okanagan News
After taking one step back, the renaming of a Penticton street to Backstreet Boulevard appears to be moving forward again.
The Penticton Council on Tuesday accepted delegations regarding the street name change bylaw and three readings were approved.
"It is approved this time, using the correct bylaw procedures and at the next meeting will go to adoption," said acting mayor Garry Litke.
After initially turning down the idea to rename Westminster Avenue East to Backstreet Boulevard, the council agreed in May to go ahead with the idea.
But the council made the decision based on inadquate information about the bylaw and they had to rescind it and start over.
Part of the problem, according to Jill Beaven, whose property goes from Front Street to Westminster, is she was never consulted.
Furthermore, said Beaven, who attended and spoke at Tuesday's meeting, the name Backstreet conveys drugs, prostitution and crime.
"Why would anyone want to be labeled as being from backstreet," she said "There is nothing wrong with Westminster Avenue East and changing a name is the most costly and confusing thing you can do."
James Miller, managing editor of the Penticton Herald, who spoke at the meeting as a resident of the area, said the whole thing wasn't done properly in the first place and created a lot of hard feelings.
"It has been quite a contentious and emotional issue," he said.
Instead Miller suggested naming the street someting like Mike Reno Drive, saying that Reno, of Loverboy fame and from Penticton, has never been recognized properly in the city.
On Wednesday, Beaven said it is over and done with and we will be moving on to the next phase, as she manned the counter at her store, Dragon's Den, on Front Street.
Chris Boehm, the co-owner of burger 55, one of the businesses including Guerard's Fine Furniture and Caroline's Boutique, who support the name change, said he was pleased with the outcome.
"It's all just been due to people always getting lost trying to find my business and others, because it's just this little corner," he said. "I don't really care what the name of the street is, I just like the idea of re-branding it.
Backstreet is clever and you can have a lot of fun with it."
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