Parkland vs. parking lot

Dear Editor:

We have been talking a lot about the proposal to put in a waterslide on park land at Skaha Lake Park. With this, I think we have missed one of  the driving forces and one of the main reasons for the proposal to develop park land. That is parking lots and space for the marina and restaurant.

When this started, the original renters were more than willing to continue their lease. For some reason city staff recommended that they not renew the lease. Then, they signed a new lease with new folks who for some reason the staff felt was better. Then came word that the new folks were going to increase the size of the marina’s moorage spaces.

Next came the news that they were going to put in a restaurant.  Then the proposal for leasing 10 per cent of the park for a waterslide and miniature golf course.

With this, we have all jumped on the waterslide issue. Think about this, with the old marina, the parking was limited and with an expansion, more parking will be needed. With a restaurant, it was imperative that more parking be acquired. But how, the marina is surrounded by park land?

Look at the new proposal, parkland that used to be a free water playground will be blacktopped for a parking lot for the marina and boat trailers.

Another section south-east will be blacktopped for parking and let’s not believe it is for beach-goers, it will be for the marina and restaurant.

What a way to get in to a park and blacktop it. Propose to build a waterslide, mini golf and update some of the other facilities and you get to blacktop a good part of the park for parking.

If the waterslide and mini golf fail, the parking lot will remain for the use of the marina. Not bad if you can convince the  city staff and council that this is a rational for getting rid of park land.

The site of the parking lot for boats and trailers is beside a very delicate area for birds, turtles and plant life. So let’s not just look at the waterslide issue, look very closely at the paving of our park.

Bob Otway

Penticton