City of Penticton to gather feedback on options for Skaha Lake Park

The City of Penticton will soon start gathering public feedback on options for developing Skaha Lake Park. Above, the park is seen from Skaha Lake. (Phil McLachlan - Western News)
A render of the proposed new boathouse for Skaha Lake Park. (Image courtesy of Landform Architecture)
A render of the proposed new boathouse for Skaha Lake Park. (Image courtesy of Landform Architecture)

Following a presentation to council Tuesday (Sept. 15), the City of Penticton will start gathering public feedback on options for developing Skaha Lake Park.

The public engagement phase is the next step in the Skaha Lake Master Plan for developing the east section of the park, a project which began in 2019.

The three concepts for developing the park ranged in cost from $2 million to $2.82 million. Those costs, and the costs for operating the park after the project is complete, could potentially result in a tax rate increase, the city said.

The least expensive option would see the infrastructure of the marina and park change in focus from motorized to non-motorized boating. The boat launch and trailer parking area would stay, but the marina and docks would be repurposed, and the existing boathouse demolished to expand the park’s green space.

The concept would cost $2,055,194, with most of the costs going towards the landscape plan at $799,381.

The middle option in cost and terms of focus would repurpose the marina building; replace the boathouse with a new facility on the same footprint; and maintain the boat launch while changing the docks for day-use only.

The cost of that concept is $2,412,490. Out of all three proposed plans, this plan includes the most money allocated to landscaping, at $906,173.

The most expensive option would focus on continuing the current usage of the marina and park area with a new, expanded boathouse on the existing footprint for non-motorized boats; a replacement of the marina infrastructure and maintaining the marina for rentals, moorage, and fuel sales. It would also improve the green spaces in the area.

That would cost $2,815,162, with upgrades to the docks to maintain their current capabilities costing $498,000 more than the other two options.

Following the presentation, councillors expressed their concerns over the potential removal of motorized boating at the marina.

READ MORE: Penticton revises Skaha Lake Park Agreements

All three options would see the splash park replaced with a new park that fits the existing park’s footprint, and would cost $450,000. Additional boardwalk seating, benches, and public art would also be added to improve pedestrian access to the area.

Council accepted the presentation and voted to proceed to public feedback.

With council’s approval on Sept. 15, the next phase of public engagement will soon begin. Through that phase, the city will begin holding stakeholder meetings with groups such as the marina, the Dragon Boat Society, and the South Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program. They will also take part in meetings and consultation with the Okanagan Nation Alliance and Penticton Indian Band.

They will also seek community input. This will include surveys through the Shape Your City Penticton website, further online information sessions and workshops, an outdoor open house in the park, and information provided at City Hall.

The photos in the gallery above depict renders of the proposed new boathouse at the Skaha Lake Park.

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