Angry residents attend waterfront rally
Oct 14, 2012 / 5:00 am
Around 150 people who care deeply about the future of Penticton's waterfront attended a rally Saturday.
Some propped signs showing their discontent with city plans to revitalize the Okanagan Lake waterfront by their vehicles, while others picked up informational material from organizer Clifford Martin.
"I want to make people aware of the upcoming town hall meeting,because the city has come up with two options to destroy the most unique beach in Canada," he said.
The four West Okanagan Lake concepts include two that would have replaced angled parking along Lakeshore Drive with parallel parking and changing traffic flow to one way. Two more recent options, introduced after there was public outcry, include less dramatic changes.
Residents have been invited all along to provide feedback on the waterfront revitalization project, and will be given further opportunity to do so at a public forum on Oct. 17 at the Penticton Trade and Convention Centre.
The concepts will also be on display on Oct. 16 at City Hall and the Penticton Recreation Centre, as well as Oct. 17 at the convention centre before the forum.
Martin was so incensed after the first two options were presented that he held an earlier rally on Lakeshore Drive in the summer.
It attracted hundreds of people, who signed a petition he later presented to the City Council.
Those in attendance Saturday said they want to make sure they get the message across that they want few or no changes made to their beloved waterfront.
"This is our beach, Penticton's beach and it is easily accessible. Now they want to take away half the parking, make it one way and create a nightmare on other streets," said Gillian Waterman. "The city also doesn't have money for this, it's just for cosmetics when they could use the money on a library upgrade instead."
Most shared the opinion written on one of the signs stuck on a vehicle that read "If it ain't broke don't fix it."
"It works well the way it is, so they should just maintain what is there," said Jan Betts. "I am sure they can do that without spending $7 million."
Mayor Dan Ashton said he was glad to see residents taking an interest in the waterfront issue, and the matter was still very much in the public input stage.
"We are taking extraordinary steps because it is an extraordinary part of Penticton, and I hope people recognize what we are going through to make sure this is done right," he said.
But resident Ray Hobbs isn't so sure the City Council has residents' best interests in mind.
"I am just getting tired of the city doing whatever they want, it's all in-camera, even the Ironman situation," he said. "We still don't know what the new race will mean or what it will cost. The only time they seem to care is during elections."
Read more Penticton News
City of Penticton
Penticton Discussion Forum
Penticton & Wine Country Chamber
Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen
District of Summerland
Summerland Chamber & Tourism
Town of Oliver
Town of Osoyoos
Town of Keremeos
School District 67 - Okanagan Skaha
School District 53 - Okanagan Similkameen
- Go for green cycling May 18
- Elite fire May 17
- A Storm drops in on students May 17
- Clublife expands in Penticton May 17
- Thieves rip off local group May 17