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City digs into garden issue

An impassioned plea by the Penticton Urban Agriculture Association regarding their garden, led council to revisit the matter at Monday's meeting.

An in camera discussion took place, after two representatives spoke about the site at Nanaimo Avenue and Backstreet Boulevard.

"I think council in general was impressed, and there were some misconceptions it was a community garden, with council thinking they would drive by and see lots of activity," said Mayor Garry Litke. "So I'm glad they came and clarified what they want to achieve and I would say they had a receptive audience."

The council previously denied a request for an extension of the site and advised the association that the existing license will not be renewed. Among concerns were it was unsightly and could have other uses, such as parking spaces.

The decision led to Monday night's presentation by members Eva Durance and Kathryn McCourt, with a big crowd of people supporting them.

They kicked off by saying they were quite surprised and upset when they learned they had been turned down.

Nor, they said, were they given any precise reason or ever informed there was a problem.

Durance emphasized they were not a community garden, but a teaching garden and were set up to bring forward issues of food security.

All the produce grown there goes to the food bank and Soupateria.

Furthermore, the presenters stated they feel they've accomplished a great deal and would appreciate the previous decision be set aside.

An in camera discussion on the matter was decided on because it involves a lease contract, insurance and disposition of City lands, said Litke.

A decision on the issue has not yet been released.



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