Survey muddies the waters

The far western end of the lakeshore is the habitat of many shorebird species which should not be disturbed under any circumstances

I currently live in Summerland, but like many residents, I spend much time in Penticton. I grew up there, and I plan to move back there eventually. It is a place dear to my heart, so I feel I have a vested interest in its future. Need I add that the Penticton mayor also lives here?

I attempted to access the interactive presentation on the Penticton website, and it is the most unclear and biased survey I have ever seen. You present only two options, a nasty bit of trickery designed to eliminate other options and input. Do you have an environmental expert involved in this planning? It would appear not. It is not acceptable anymore to omit environmental considerations when doing city planning.

The far western end of the lakeshore is the habitat of many shorebird species which should not be disturbed under any circumstances. On any given day, you can see bird watchers and bird photographers there.

It is not just because of environmental considerations either, but also because the area near the Sicamous is, and always has been, used by citizens and tourists of all ages for swimming.The idea of a boat launch there is not acceptable. It should be removed forthwith. Nor should things like that weird water ‘flying machine’ be permitted in that area, which could only possibly appeal to young yobs, and they apparently couldn’t afford it. Who are you trying to attract? Certainly not the majority of families who use the lakeshore for swimming. There is far too much interference with that already.

Keep in mind as well, events such as the hugely successful Meadowlark Festival. Do you seriously think local citizens and visitors who come for such events want to see another boat launch or nonsense like that ill-fated water flying machine? There needs to be far more consideration of who uses the lakeshore and for what purposes.

The only thing needed is perhaps a slightly wider walkway, and keep in mind that that is only used to capacity in July and August, during tourist season. It is high time that the needs of citizens, the local taxpayers, are put first, not those of tourists.

The eastern end of the Okanagan lakeshore is even more environmentally sensitive, and I hope that federal and provincial departments will prevent you from developing that area. This city council has enough of a history of messing up already, so this is the time to slow down and ensure that all research has been conducted before blundering into yet another costly, unnecessary and environmentally disastrous fiasco.

Sharry Schneider





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