Peachland councillor warns beachfront walkway debate may get heated

Debate may get heated

A four-hour budget session wasn’t long enough to resolve two slightly thorny issues in Peachland.

Coun. Keith Thom warned council on Tuesday morning that plans tentatively approved a week ago to build pathway extension from 13th Street to Todd Road could get heated.

Council agreed to extend its waterfront walkway by building a path on the existing roadway at an estimated cost of $100,000. Building a separate path, like the one that exists now, would cost an estimated $3 million.

Years ago, citizen opposition to the cost killed the pathway extension idea.

“I think this will become a very hot-button issue when it goes to the public. It was a hot button issue eight years ago … and the residents got in quite a kerfuffle about that,” said Thom.

Coun. Randey Brophy said opposition is already mounting online.

“We don’t mind hot-button issues on this council,” replied Mayor Patrick Van Minsel.

Details and options on the new pathway plan will be presented at a future council meeting, then will be offered at a public meeting for feedback, explained administrator Joe Creron.

Council was also asked to consider installing a 10-foot fence along the back of the Cousins Park baseball outfield, so home-run balls won’t land on Beach Avenue.

Right now there’s a four-foot fence “that’s totally inadequate” and a sign that warns people balls may leave the playing field, said Coun. Randey Brophy.

“My recollection is we did an estimate and it was $375,000 for netting,” said administrator Joe Creron.

Creron wondered if a 10-foot fence would be enough. Brophy answered that any ball that cleared a 10-foot fence would also clear Beach Avenue.

A report with costs will be presented to council early in 2024 said Creron.

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