As I take my daily summer walk along Skaha Lake Beach Park I am amused to see signs within the properties on South Beach Drive proclaiming “Save Skaha Park,” “No Waterslides in Skaha Park” and “Protect Skaha Park.”
I find this to be a tad disingenuous and maybe even a conflict of interest. Despite a recent suspicious proposal to create a multi-family development there, those beachfront houses along South Beach Drive are still designated as parks properties and destined to be bought by the City someday to expand Skaha Lake Beach Park. Correct?
I have been vacationing here every summer for 40 years both as a visiting tourist and now as a taxpaying seasonal resident. As a supporter of the complete Trio Marine Group proposal to renovate the Skaha Marina area, I would like to point out that the City of Penticton’s take in the profit-sharing aspect of the redevelopment would be dedicated to acquiring future parkland. That could include buying up both the remaining Elm Street properties that would lead to more greenspace and the South Beach Drive properties that would lead to more beachfront.
(I can see why current property owners might oppose the plan but I am arguing for the greater public interest).
So, leasing a little-used portion of the park (my daily observation) for tourist enhancement does not, in fact, decrease park space but will, if City Council makes the visionary decision, lead to an expanded Skaha Lake Beach Park.
Whether it be free or with fee, I look forward to enjoying all aspects of Skaha Beach with my vacationing young nieces and nephews.
Swimming, beach volleyball, tennis and the playground/splashpad are already perennial favourites, but now we can add waterslides, mini golf, boat rentals and a lakeview restaurant. Let’s get on with it!