City waters down options

Options for Penticton waterfront will be discussed at Oct. 17 meeting

It appears we are being duped … again. The city says it “listens to its citizens,” yet they are having Lakeshore/West Okanagan Option 1 and 2 on public display not only the day before the meeting, but also at the convention centre before and during the meeting in a big push to sell their $7 million (or up to double) revitalization that will do far more damage to tourism, resident and senior use.

As with the city offering Option 4, is this not another ploy to favour a “vote percentage” for their first two options and to take votes away from Option 3, thus splitting the vote and giving Options 1 and 2 a favourable percentage? Is this not how Mayor Dan Ashton got re-elected, by too many options running for mayor?

And speaking of the $7 million estimate, how accurate was the estimate for the events centre? With doubts of uncertainty surrounding the whole lakeshore revitalization, would it not be in the best interest for a positive future of Penticton to just vote for Option 3 and not Option 4? Or by splitting the vote will we end up with an expensive option that will ruin the most unique beach and street in all of Canada?

All this money has to come from somewhere. They say it will be in the future, but with a plan approved you can bet they will push it as soon as possible before there is any more public disapproval. Every politician wants their legacy.

Will funds come from increased residential and business taxes? Will it be more parking meters? Will it be valuable city lands sold off? Or will they just start issuing high-density building permits to anyone that walks through the door? Do you want high-density accommodations in your neighbourhood?

A vote for Option 3 is a vote to leave Lakeshore Drive a two-way street, leave angle parking, leave all sandy areas as a beach and repair/fix what is necessary without huge costs.

Option 4 is a glorified Option 3 to take votes away from Option 3. Option 1 and 2 will each cost an absolute minimum of more than $7 million taxpayers dollars, eliminate up to 70 per cent of parking, lose all angle parking with one option or most angle parking with a one-way street option, sod some beach areas at the east end, sunbather consuming volleyball courts (we have Skaha for that) and fitness areas, view-blocking shade structures and beach-consuming walkways, and of course parking meters to help pay for all of this.

I have been to more than 100 beaches in North America and various countries, and by far West Okanagan Beach and Lakeshore Drive is the best in Canada … the way it is. Save Lakeshore Drive. Please come speak up for Option 3 on Oct. 17, at 5 p.m. at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.

There will be a rally this Saturday at 11 a.m. on Lakeshore Drive between Main Street and the Peach area for public awareness and to protest present and future city excessive spending for projects not in the best interests of Penticton, tourism and its residents.

Clifford Martin