LETTERS: Another tale of two cities

The example values are just that, Skaha Lake Park is a priceless resource.

Kelowna — City council takes the opportunity to acquire 2.9 acres of lakefront property for $12 million.

There seems to be no objection from citizens who may have thought the money could have been used for other priorities. There are no demonstrations from citizens who may have thought a developer should have acquired the land for a much needed water park. There seems to be a general satisfaction that more public lakefront park space will result.

Penticton — A letter from city council issued on May 17, 2013, starts the Skaha Lake Park Development Fiasco.

“Expressions Of Interest” are called for in the letter, to expand the leased area of 124 South Beach Dr. (this is part of Skaha Lake Park, but is not clarified as such). The letter calls for a lease proposal for the existing marina area, stated to be one acre. The letter adds: two “expansion” areas for development proposals;  Area 1 being 2.4 acres to the east; Area 2 being 3.43 acres to the north. With this letter, Penticton City Council offered up a total of 5.83 acres of additional publicly owned green park space, for private for profit development.

We now know that Trio Marine Group responded to this proposal. Their plans call for the north 3.43 acres of park to be tarmac covered for what may become a waterslide park. The east 2.4 acres will be tarmac covered for paid parking etc. All activities within these areas will require paid admission.

Fast forward to 2015 — public knowledge grows of the plans to allow private for profit development of 5.83 acres of Skaha Lake Park. Penticton council signs off on the proposal despite huge opposition to it, and declines calls for a referendum.

Using the Kelowna purchase as a guide (they happily paid $4.138 million per acre); the area of Skaha Lake Park offered up for development would seem to have a value of around $24 million. Will the people of Penticton ever see a worthwhile return on this hand over of 5.83 acres? Probably not, probably not even close. Trio’s lease payments are based on a percentage of their revenue. The lease payments will never come close to justifying this arrangement.

The example values are just that, Skaha Lake Park is a priceless resource. There will never be an acceptable reason for destroying public park green space. Those in favour of “improving” the park with any kind of private development should realize this.

John McLeod

Penticton

 

Just Posted

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

Penticton 24/7 Convenience Store robbed at knife point

No injuries were reported following the Feb. 6 incident, police on lookout for knife-wielding bandit

Summerland school receives outdoor learning area

Facility under construction near creek at elementary school

Work has begun on Summerland Rotary school project in India

Summerland club working to improve conditions at dilapidated school building

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Crash closes highway between Vernon and Lumby

Traffic being routed around the scene

Level nightclub will be closing

Three cougar sightings in Central Okanagan

Two cougars have been reported in Lake Country

Vehicle located in 2018 Shuswap abduction attempt

Chase RCMP say car used has since been sold, suspect still at large

We like it! Readers support the shift in Family Day dates

Readers support the date switch, while Ski Resorts may not

Cougar ‘living’ next door to Okanagan elementary school

Conservation Office has been alerted and monitoring large cat

Dog dies in Kamloops RV fire

According to a fundraiser posted on social media, the cause of the fire was electrical

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

Most Read