Plan should respect natural features

Penticton council should honour natural and human values in plan for Penticton waterfront

The proposed development of the Penticton waterfronts is an extremely important move with plenty of positive aspects, but a few possibly negative ones. The following is an abbreviated version of a letter to mayor and council sent June 25.

I commend council for initiating plans to make Penticton more attractive, physically and from an amenities point of view, for residents and visitors alike. The two waterfronts plus the channel are natural features critical to such a plan. In my view, they should be ‘developed’ in such a way as to improve non-vehicular access, to avoid anything that impedes views, and to encourage uses unavailable elsewhere in the city or immediate area. Especially given the small amount of waterfront, so-called ‘passive’ activities, not commercial, would seem to be the ‘best and highest’ uses.

It would be of interest to know whether the “significant public demand” in the online survey for facilities such as cafes and restaurant/pub at the Sicamous and for a boat tie-up came from the general public or business people wishing to capitalize on a plum location. I rather suspect the latter. With the numerous restaurants and cafes across Lakeshore Drive there appears no need for more, and especially on the waterfront.

I am particularly worried about any proposal that would once again reduce habitat for birds on any of our waterfronts. The lower-elevation valley is a critical Interior migration route for many species of waterfowl, shorebirds and land birds that breed here or use the valley as a corridor to breeding areas further north. Fall through late winter, too, the dam area in particular is a very important resting and feeding place for many birds. Increased human and boat traffic and facilities would destroy habitat and disturb the birds at very vulnerable times.

The birds contribute to the local economy too as local and visiting birders regularly scout the waterfronts for wintering and migrating species — then visit local businesses. Non-birders seem to appreciate the birds’ presence too, though unfortunately often by feeding them. For ecological and economic reasons, the birds should be considered in any waterfront redevelopment plan.

In my letter to council, I suggested that activities at the west end, other than benches, barbecue spots and the like, be put at the Peach, the widest, most easily accessible bit. Habitat disturbance would be minimal and it would concentrate less quiet activities. I would love to have general motorized traffic removed from Lakeshore Drive entirely, with shuttle buses available from nearby parking areas. Air quality and the views would improve and noise would be greatly reduced. Currently, the excellent food and atmosphere on the patio of a place like Salty’s are ruined by car fumes, noise and obscured views.

When I moved to Penticton area 22 years ago, a sort of Coney Island on the Okanagan was proposed for what is now Okanagan Lake Park. Residents resisted that effort to commercialize the waterfront. Let’s do so again and opt for a plan that honours the natural and human values of these treasures.

Eva Durance

 

Penticton

 

 

Just Posted

The illegal open fire above Naramata continues to smoke on Friday, June 18. The fire was left to burn itself out by BC Wildfire. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Illegal open burn in Naramata will be left to smoke

BC Wildfire could not confirm whether the property owner had been fined

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Rob and Anthony are the city’s new parking ambassadors who are sharing information with businesses and the public about the new pay parking. (Monique Tamminga - Western News)
Penticton hires team to inform people on city’s new pay parking system

The pair will spend at least a month helping businesses and residents navigate new pay parking system

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Seth Rogan’s vibrant orange sculpture was sold for $7,000 above Vancouver Art Gallery’s initial estimation at auction Tuesday. June 15. (Heffel Fine Arts)
Vase made by Seth Rogen sells for $12,000 at Vancouver auction

The B.C.-born comedian has a new pot habit, and it’s one that’s paying off

BC Lions running back John White IV (3) runs with the ball during first quarter CFL football action against the Ottawa Redblacks in Ottawa on Saturday, September 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Patrick Doyle
BC Lions file trademark for new logo

Canadian Football League team files for new design on June 1

Emergency crews responded to Highway 97 after a motorcycle incident. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Motorcyclist taken to hospital after collision on Highway 97

It is not known the extent of their injuries

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Camper van explosion burns Vancouver Island gas station to the ground

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

The Montreal Police logo is seen in Montreal on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. Some Quebec politicians are calling for an investigation after a video was released that appears to show a Montreal police officer with his leg on a young Black man’s neck during an arrest. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Probe called for after video appearing to show Montreal officer’s knee on Black youth’s neck

Politicians call for investigation after clip evokes memories of George Floyd incident

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. The website for a Broadway theatre showing "Springsteen on Broadway" said it would only allow guests "fully vaccinated with an FDA-approved vaccine" — Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna or Johnson & Johnson. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
No Springsteen for you: AstraZeneca not good enough to qualify for Broadway ticket

Victoria area mayor among those unable to attend New York entertainment due to COVID-19 restriction

The crosswalk is at Third Street and Mackenzie and was installed on June 17. (Liam Harrap - Revelstoke Review)
Painting a rainbow: First Pride crosswalk installed in Revelstoke

‘It signals to the community that this city is inclusive,’ Mayor Gary Sulz

The BC Ferries’ website is down for the second time in one week from what they say is likely an overwhelming increase in web traffic. (Black Press Media file photo)
Surging web traffic crashes BC Ferries’ site again

Website down for second time this week

Most Read