The issue that has divided the city for more than a year has taken one more step in the progress to appearing before a B.C. Supreme Court Justice.
Nelson Meikle, who filed a civil suit on July 28 over the City of Penticton’s deal to lease a portion of Skaha Lake Park to Trio Marine group, who had plans to build a waterslide complex, has responded to the city’s Aug. 31 response to his suit.
(read more: Hundreds rally to save Skaha Park)
Meikle delves into fine detail in the legal response he filed on Sept. 29, but there are several key claims relating to overall issues, including the city’s claim Meikle had no right to seek remedy in court regarding the proposed commercial development. Meikle points out that he has a direct interest in the land, as a user of both the park and marina, and his right of access to land dedicated as a public park.
The city also flatly denied Meikle’s description of the pond and stream issuing from it, calling it a storm retention pond.
“A portion of the original creek still remains, as it did under previous historical conditions, as a natural creek. This creek remains a fish spawning area to the present. This detention pond does not alter these characteristics,” write Meikle.
The city also says the park dedication bylaw, often referred to by opponents of the lease deal, allows for ancillary activities or uses, providing for “the leasing or licensing of all or part of the public parkland for uses related to or ancillary to the uses specified.”
Meikle’s response to that claim suggests that a waterslide complex doesn’t qualify as an ancillary park use.
“The waterpark constitutes a large, high permanently constructed structure(s) being built on this park land. Historically, there has never been any such (or similar) development on this or any other park land to which this zoning bylaw applies,” wrote Meikle, noting that about 11 per cent of the city’s population have registered their opposition to the lease.