Property owners with docks along Okanagan lake in Kelowna. Image Credit: Kevin Parnell/Kelowna Capital News

Letter: Kelowna should build boardwalks to link foreshore

PLANKelowna says there’s a strong public desire to be able to walk all along our shoreline

To the editor:

Kelowna currently has several boardwalks that allow residents and visitors to walk along our fantastic shoreline, where it would not otherwise be possible. We’re not alone; waterfront cities all over the world use boardwalks or seawall paths to allow public access to these popular areas.

There are a few locations along our lakeshore between the bridge and Mission Creek where it will not be possible to walk along the beach, even if the province begins to actually enforce the existing laws which are supposed to guarantee us access to our foreshore.

In some locations, in the past, homeowners legally built break-walls on their lakeside property, then the shoreline eroded up to their break-wall. In these places the foreshore is now gone. Their property line is now the vertical face of the lake side of their break-wall, with water at the base of the wall.

We think there’s a strong public desire to be able to walk all along our shoreline. One way to accomplish this is for the city to build boardwalks parallel to the shore at about the same height as any docks that stick out into the lake. These relatively short boardwalks would link the sections of walkable foreshore to each other. Private dock owners are already legally required to allow pedestrians to walk over their docks in exchange for permission to build their private docks on public property. City staff have the expertise to sort out the legalities.

Our mayor has stated that neither he nor council currently has any plans to build any linking boardwalks. If you think it’d be good for Kelowna to link our beaches together with boardwalks or in some other way, please write a short email to mayorandcouncil@kelowna.ca.

Al Janusas, PLANKelowna