Salmon Arm  

Sicamous Narrows residents not pleased with rail trail plan

Butting heads over rail trail

The original proponents of a Sicamous-to-Armstrong rail trail say they're not interested in sharing ownership with the District of Sicamous.

The decommissioned rail line is owned by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Splatsin First Nation, and the Regional District of North Okanagan.

In a joint press release the government groups say share a "unified vision for the trail project as a legacy that will benefit the citizens of the entire area for generations to come."

The plan is for a contiguous recreational and transportation corridor that will be an economic driver for all of the participating communities.

The partners say Sicamous recently brought forward a proposal to take over ownership of 1.67 kilometres of the trail that falls within its boundaries.

However, the Rail Trail Governance Advisory Committee reaffirmed its support for the current ownership structure.  

"While sensitive to the interests and concerns brought forward by the District of Sicamous, the present owners (with representation from all of the participating jurisdictions including Sicamous) are the most appropriate means to achieve the common purpose and to ensure equal treatment of all taxpaying citizens across the rail trail service area," their release states.

There have apparently been concerns from 22 Sicamous property owners with land adjacent to the trail along the Sicamous Narrows on Mara Lake. 

The owners are displeased with agreements regarding private docks adjacent to the trail and access across it.

The committee believes the licence and upland consent agreements are a fair compromise as they allow owners who do not own waterfront property to have docks – something which is not permitted on Shuswap, Mara and most other lakes in B.C.

The agreements were also based on wording in previous agreements with CP Rail.

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