City real estate eyed for sale

The City of Penticton is working on a formal policy on how it will handle the any future sale of city-owned property.

The city currently holds more than 400 properties in Penticton and is building a framework to dispose of a number of non-core assets, like residential properties in need of significant repair.

“The city, typically, would like to be either a landlord, or a seller,” city manager Peter Weeber said during Tuesday's council meeting.

Under the policy, a list of non-core real estate assets will be developed and presented to council every two years. Council will then decide what properties if any should be considered for sale and move to a public engagement process.

“It doesn’t mean that we are recommending council go on a property selling spree,” Weeber said, adding the policy is being developed with “contentious” properties in mind, like the downtown site currently promised to the South Okanagan Performing Arts Centre Society.

A separate process is also being developed for when the city receives unsolicited offers from developers, which will essentially see council vote to send the offer out to the public for consultation.

After public engagement, the offer will go back before council for final approval.

Any money generated from the sale of city-owned land can only be used for capital projects, said chief financial officer Jim Bauer.

Council balked on formally approving the policy at Tuesday's meeting, instead sending it back to staff for some minor word-smithing, but many spoke in support of the spirit of the document.


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