City to decide on bylaw amendment process for new childcare centre

Childcare upgrade starting

The City of Penticton is moving forward in its stages of addressing the needs for the upcoming day care centre in Kiwanis Park by working on a zoning amendment bylaw.

The bylaw adds the use “day care centre, major” as a site specific use in the Parks and Recreation) zone for the lots four, five and six of District Lots 249 and 250 Similkameen Division Yale District, Plan 1410, located at 470, 490 and 500 Edmonton Avenue. 

It will be brought forward at Tuesday’s meeting to be given its first reading ahead of a public hearing set for January 2021.

Then staff will begin a public engagement process.

City Council entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with OneSky Community on Feb. 4, 2020, to work on resources to construct and operate a new child care facility on Kiwanis Park as a priority.

The partnership was successful in receiving a grant after submitting an application to the Province’s Childcare BC New Spaces Fund grant for $2.954 million. 

But a zoning amendment is needed to allow for the use, even though childcare has been an operating use at Kiwanis Park for more than 30 years, childcare is not a permitted use within the P2 (Parks and Recreation) zone which is needed.

In their investigations, it was confirmed that the buildings on Kiwanis Park are determined to be in poor condition, nearing end of life and in need of large investment to maintain the facilities. 

Current steps in the Parkland Protection and Use Policy require additional oversight by the City’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and additional public consultation above what is required by provincial legislation.

The policy is set out in a ten step procedure, which the city is currently in the second step. Engagement work in this lengthy process was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff are encouraging the City to move forward with the success of the grant and bringing in an engagement plan as originally proposed with safety modifications to meet the COVID restrictions for physical distancing. The process will include conversations with stakeholders, updated online information, press releases and social media about the proposal and open houses with the community. 

The impacts to City’s finances for the zoning amendment process, including public consultation, is estimated at around $2,500. Provincial funding covers 100 per cent of the costs of the new childcare facility and further costs could be claimed under the provincial grant budget.

Staff recommends moving this forward as childcare spaces are a need in the community and the proposed zoning change will help facilitate the creation of 116 new spaces.

Initial research has shown that the proposed day care an appropriate use on the subject property. Council is suggested to give the first reading to “Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2020-42” and the first Public Hearing will be held in January for comments from the public.

Staff will then be completing the engagement plan with the community and present the engagement results to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee as well as City Council at the first meeting in January.

Council will hear the full presentation on this topic and make a decision on Tuesday.

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