How city council is allocating greenspace

Resident plans rally to protect Penticton greenspaces

A resident who’s weary of decisions made by council is organizing a protest in front of City Hall.

A resident who’s weary of decisions made by council is organizing a protest in front of City Hall.

Cliff Martin worries that Penticton’s mayor and council are not listening to what the general public wants with public land.

“I’m totally against the use of public parks for private interest,” he said. “There should be a referendum whenever there’s a proposed change to the status of any public land,” said Martin.

The city’s agreement to lease a portion of Skaha Beach to Trio Marine Group is what prompted Martin to plan the demonstration, which came after a series of green space losses — including land near the SS Sicamous and the baseball diamond near the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

He’s inviting citizens who share his concern to assemble out front of City Hall prior to the next regular council meeting on Monday, July 20.

“What better time to do it then before a council meeting?” he said.

The demonstration will begin at 5 p.m., and Martin said he’s expecting a large turnout.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said he aims to appease the majority of the community; not the loudest group.

“We’ll wait and see what transpires (out of the July 20 demonstration),” he said. “Quite often the silent majority is excited about some of the developments and change, and they aren’t very vocal. The vocal minority sometimes gets very organized and have dictated what direction councils in the past should take.”

Instead of building a permanent structure, Martin thinks the Wibit Water Park, which only occupies real estate on the surface of Lake Okanagan, is an ideal attraction for the community. He believes council was wrongfully persuaded into seeing the proposed waterpark at Skaha Marina as beneficial to the community.

“The biggest problem is with city planners who are just feeding these guys — our mayor and council have intelligence, but they’re eating up everything.”

He said council’s current roster is giving away public lands at a rate faster than he’s ever seen.

“These parks are valuable — it took us took a long time to get them all.”

But the city will be using money from the deal to promote future park acquisition. Revenues from the Skaha Marina lease agreement, as well as the city’s cut of revenue sharing from the waterpark, will be invested in future park space. That will produce “substantial numbers that will be able to help finance a park elsewhere, maybe pocket park in an area we don’t have one,” Jakubeit said, adding that maintaining parks is also very expensive. He said the city’s revenue from the lease will significantly contribute towards green space all throughout the community.

“Not just Skaha Park but all Penticton parks in general — we want to make sure that the parks we have get better utilization out of them,” he said. “Everyone agrees that parks are important, and we want to see as many green spaces and as much utilization from the community as possible.”

Jakubeit said council acts holistically when deciding upon any development, and that people’s opposition and petitions are often based on misinformation.

 

Just Posted

Apex Community Association ‘will work for the community’

It has applied for charitable status and the Apex Fire Brigade will join as a charitable entity

Rain in the forecast for much of the Southern Interior

Rain for much of the day in most areas clearing in the evening

Penticton’s Arts Rising Festival included as BC Culture Days 10th anniversary celebration

Take in the various free events and activities around the city on Sept. 27 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Preliminary inquiry dates set for John Brittain

Penticton resident is charged with three counts of first degree, one count of second degree murder

Grass fire breaks out on highway south of Vernon

Highway 97 traffic slowed as firefighters snuff grass fire

Access to Okanagan Rail Trail to be limited by erosion work

The work will be done throughout September but won’t begin before the Labour Day weekend

Suspicious fire rips through abandoned Okanagan home

A fire was reported on Francescutti Court in Kelowna just after 1 a.m. Friday morning

Wildfire sparks beside Highway 3 west of Keremeos

A wildfire on the side of Highway 3 just west of Keremeos… Continue reading

Summerland relaunches net metering program

Event open house will be held Aug. 27 from 3 to 6 p.m in Arena Banquet Room

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Jaws of Life used to rescue driver in North Okanagan crash

Single-vehicle MVI causes traffic delays on Highway 6

Forests minister visits B.C. town rocked by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

Most Read