Letters to the Editor

All waterfront land should be preserved

To the editor:

Kelowna’s waterfront is being systematically wrecked by laissez-faire planning for developers, speculators and the chamber of commerce. Kelowna needs utilitarian planning for the greatest good to all citizens and for future generations.

I have seen superior planned cities like Santa Barbara, Carlsbad, Carmel and San Diego, CA. Utilitarian planning makes them more functional and more beautiful than Kelowna.

The priority of Carlsbad’s city management is protecting and preserving their waterfront areas as natural treasures for future generations. However in Kelowna, accommodating laissez-faire business greed of developers, speculators and the C. of C. is the priority of the city planning and development departments. Consequently, public waterfront land here is treated as a disposable commodity and sold off to the highest bidder.

In reality, the proposal of selling the public’s rare waterfront land along Abbott Street is another typical sell-off scam. It basically involves privatizing and transferring public waterfront land assets to the business establishment. How else can be explained the proposed senseless wrecking of open space with an ugly “Berlin” wall of four-storey commercial buildings and made higher through variances?

Why block beautiful panoramic views from along the west side of Abbott Street?

Also, commercial buildings aren’t necessary on the west side of Abbott because there is plenty of room for commercialism from the east side of Abbott over to Pandosy Street.

Furthermore, who can believe the propaganda that by selling the public’s irreplaceable waterfront land the city would purchase green space elsewhere? The city didn’t sell off surplus recreational land to finance their extremely expensive recreational H2O Mission pool facility. So likely, city officials would put the waterfront sale money into general revenue. Unfortunately, much of general revenue goes to finance waste, such as the excess in salaries of the obscenely overpaid city manager and other officials, etc.

When will the ongoing sacrifice of the public’s waterfront land to finance the waste and extravagance of city officials finally stop?

The laissez-faire planning rip-off must end. We, the citizens, must demand that our city council follow Penticton’s superior utilitarian waterfront planning.

So likewise here, our public waterfront land should be for the public’s exclusive use as park. Penticton sensibly uses streets as a buffer boundary along the waterfront. So, we should use Abbott Street as a buffer boundary. This preserves the beautiful panoramic views of the lake and mountains from along Abbott Street.

All commercial buildings should only be allowed eastwards from Abbott Street. We need this superior utilitarian planning now.

Robert Cichocki,

Kelowna

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