Carr’s Landing residents gathered for a picnic at Gable Beach North last week to show their support for preserving access to the Okanagan Lake shoreline area for the public. Image Credit: Contributed

Gable Beach battle brewing

Concerned Lake Country residents appeared at council last week, but district not commenting

The fight to preserve the current public access to Gable Beach North is likely far from over, says a Carr’s Landing resident.

Cara Reed appeared before Lake Country council last week to make a case for turning the beach area into a city park.

Reed noted the property has been the subject of ownership lawsuits for decades and the district fought to retain ownership.

“We continue to support that view, representing our rights as residents who don’t have the access of a house on the water shoreline. We represent a majority of the community and this is precious land,” Reed told the councillors.

While she was happy to present her argument, she fully expects the land sale will become an issue once district council has finalized its land use and recreation master plan this fall.

“Too much has already been done along the beach with surveying to think this won’t come up again,” Reed told The Calendar on Friday.

“We have to be prepared if that happens and comes to public hearing, that people who don’t want this to happen make their views known to council.”

Reed cited the progress report on the Official Community Plan update, noting more parks and trails was fourth behind road improvements, supporting farms and agriculture, and sidewalk and bike lane improvements in the public’s priorities.

“Everybody needs access to water. The vast majority of the population of Lake Country does not have waterfront access so this is it,” said Reed, noting that of 45 kilometres of lakefront access in the district only six kilometres is public-owned.

“We are not going to get any more and lakefront access is why so many of us moved to Lake Country. If we wanted to live somewhere with limited access to our natural environment, we would live in Kelowna.”

She says selling the land to the adjacent property owners would serve no purpose, since there is no other land available to buy, and a valuable piece of waterfront natural habitat would be lost.

She cites Coral Beach Park as an example of the district and local residents working together to create a waterfront park.

“That park just didn’t spring up on its own. People worked with the district to turn that park into what is today. That same thing can be achieved working together to preserve Gable Beach into a park,” she said.

“People are able and ready to commit their time and resources to help make that happen.”

Lake Country councillors did not make a comment after Reed’s submission and the district’s chief administrative officer Alberto De Feo said they can’t comment on any land deals.