Chamber of Commerce unhappy with Penticton city council

Unhappy with council

The Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce has publicly voiced its displeasure with local city council for dismissing an application for a new apartment complex rather than sending it to public hearing.

At Tuesday's meeting, council voted down an amended proposal for a 130-unit complex at 435 Green Avenue, the acreage formerly owned by the late David Kampe. Council cited strong public opposition to the original proposal, which was 151 units, back in the spring.

The developers had hoped their smaller vision would get a second chance at a public hearing, but council denied it.

The Chamber of Commerce weighed in in an open letter published Friday.

"The Chamber's board of directors were surprised and dismayed by the recent decision made by the City of Penticton to not hold a public hearing," they wrote.

"We feel strongly that such a public hearing would have given stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the development plans."

They add that they send a letter to council dated July 19 urging council to increase the supply of housing in the community.

"The supply of rental housing in the City of Penticton is having a significant impact on local businesses to hire and retain employees. We hear the difficulty that our 600 business members face with hiring and retaining employees, which is often related to the lack of available housing in Penticton," they wrote.

"The impact of this has caused some local businesses to reduce hours and/or limit available services."

They end by asking council to develop a housing plan that will increase the supply of rental housing.

"Furthermore, it is particularly important that developers have a clear understanding of what is expected in their plans before those plans are submitted to council."

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