How city council is allocating greenspace

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

Lightning in Kelowna, B.C. (Contributed)
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Okanagan

Conditions are favourable for the development of severe thunderstorms overnight

Justin Fotherby,17, and Ashley McMillan, 17 have been chosen for an invitation only competition that sees 20 of Canada’s top swimmers per event vying for a spot at the upcoming 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. (Submitted)
Penticton swimmers off to Olympic trials

The pair are eyeing a spot on the Canadian team heading to the Tokyo Olympics

Bentley resting on a bench at Kal Park in Vernon not knowing there is a baby rattlesnake curled up below. Bentley jumped down and was bit by the snake. (Facebook)
Dog bit by baby rattler at popular Vernon park

The rattlesnake was hidden underneath a park bench when it struck out

Renderings of what the skating rink could look like beside City Hall between Martin and Main in downtown Penticton. (Activate Penticton image)
Outdoor skating rink back at Penticton council

City staff recommend going forward with rink which could host 2022 BCHL’s 60th year celebration

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

Most Read