Council needs to learn from history

Dear Editor:

Re: “Déjà vu all over again” (Herald, July 22).

I was wondering how long it would be before someone reminded us about the fierce battle 15 years ago to save Okanagan Lake Park from developers.   I was delighted to see that when it came it was from Ben Amos, husband of the late Sharon Amos, spokesperson for the Protect Our Parkland group.

A quick recap.

A local developer, with the support of the then mayor and several members of his council were determined to build a waterfront hotel complex on Okanagan Lake Park. This turned into a long, bitter and divisive fight between POP and its supporters, and the hotel proponents.

It finally ended in the Supreme Court of B.C. where common sense prevailed. The park was saved for the future enjoyment of all.

To the thousands enjoying all the wonderful events taking place in Okanagan Lake Park I would ask you to pause for a moment and remember the tireless and time consuming effort put in by Sharon, the POP volunteer group and all the supporters of the campaign which saved the park for the benefit and year-round use of us all.

Think long and hard about what is being proposed for the Skaha park lands and the remaining green space around the South Okanagan Events Centre. Take heart in the knowledge that the arrogance and lack of respect for public input currently being demonstrated at City Hall can and must be challenged.

Commercial development should not take place on public parkland. There is an adequate supply of suitable alternative land available. In the interests of all current and future residents of our beautiful city, let’s stop this nonsense now. A referendum is the only way to truly determine the public’s wishes.

C. Brian Bullock

Penticton