Around 2000-2001, then-mayor Mike Pearce and respected developer Robin Agur pushed hard to develop what is now Lake Okanagan Park into a high-rise apartment-hotel. The proponents justified their proposal on the basis that it was “just unused green space” used by few.
The late Sharon Amos was the spokesperson for a group of 20 who formed and led the Protect our Parkland (POP) campaign. In Sharon’s words “we lit the spark and fanned the flames” and became “a thorn in the side of the then mayor and council.”
Mayor Pearce justified his non-attendance at certain meetings by saying “he did not want to be in the same room as that woman.” High praise indeed!
POP took their resistance campaign to the courts system and saved Okanagan Lake Park from development with a 98 per cent referendum margin.
Lake Okanagan Park is used annually by thousands and is the gem of Penticton.