So close in distance, but light years apart in public parks policy. I am referring to the cities of Penticton, Kelowna, and Vernon.
While the latter two cities are preserving and in fact expanding their waterfront parkland areas, Penticton City Council has adopted a policy of commercializing and, therefore, losing these valued public sanctuaries forever.
Last week Kelowna’s mayor announced that the city had purchased three acres of waterfront land for $12 million which is to be ultimately developed as a public park. Also recently Vernon announced the acquisition of 2 1/2 acres of waterfront property from the United Church to be used as parkland. The United Church sold the land to the city at below market value as they felt strongly that this was the best use of the land.
Kelowna’s mayor Colin Basran stated: “Instead of having a park and amenities in the future, this could have become a condo building with no access for the public to the lake.”
What radical thinking from our Penticton city council’s perspective.