Residents who’ve been fighting a proposed development on a portion of Skaha Lake Park are not giving up.
Save Skaha Park Society has filed a lawsuit against Penticton mayor and council and the developer, Trio Marine. The lawsuit asks the courts to force a referendum so that residents are given the final say.
The controversial project which includes an expanded marina, new restaurant, and a waterslide park was already approved by council, who said the rules didn’t require a referendum to change the land use.
“We’re not opposed to a marina expansion, and we’re not opposed to a nice restaurant on our end of town. What we are opposed to is seven people deciding what should have been decided democratically, by all the residents of Penticton,” says Carolae Donohue, who speaks for the group.
The lawsuit isn’t the only thing slowing down the development. The Penticton Indian Band sent a letter to Penticton council Monday night asking for more consultation about the environmental and archaeological impact.
Trio Marine issued a statement Tuesday evening responding to the lawsuit and the band’s letter. In the statement, the developer says it plans to keep moving forward with the project.
“We would like to recognize people’s passion for this project, both the positive and the not so positive. Trio Marine Group will continue to work together with the City of Penticton, Save Skaha Park society, and the Penticton Indian Band to discuss concerns of all parties involved while working towards a positive advancement of the Skaha Lake project,” says Trio in its statement.
Trio was supposed to have a joint lease between itself, the city, and the province, ready to sign by October 1. That deadline has been extended for another 12 months.
If and when the project gets going is now up in the air.
“Over the next year and with a pending suit, I think all parties will evaluate things and go from there,” says Mayor Andrew Jakubeit
The question of a referendum will decide the park’s fate once and for all, is now up in the air.
Media Statement September 29th, 2015
Trio Marine Group would like to acknowledge papers received on September 25th, 2015 from the Save Skaha Park society filing a civil lawsuit claim in B.C. Supreme Court and a letter dated August 28th, 2015 from the Penticton Indian Band requesting further consultation with an environmental and archaeological impact study.
Trio acknowledges there was information to be submitted to the City of Penticton by October 1st, 2015, taking into consideration a lease agreement with the province of B.C. which had not been received by the City of Penticton and the letter from the Penticton Indian Band, the City of Penticton and Trio engaged in discussion of possible lease extensions. Recognizing the above uncertainties, Trio felt it would be in the best interest of all parties not to submit a detailed financial plan by October 1st, 2015 until the above conditions had been satisfied.
We would like to acknowledge with this matter now being a legal issue, further comments have to be kept limited. We would like to recognize people’s passion for this project, both the positive and the not so positive. Trio Marine Group will continue to work together with the City of Penticton, Save Skaha Park society, and the Penticton Indian Band to discuss concerns of all parties involved while working towards a positive advancement of the Skaha Lake project.
Trio Marine Group