Every week, during the run-up to the Oct. 20 election, the Capital News will ask Peachland candidates a question about a local issue. This week’s question is:
There has been a lot of concern in recent years about whether the lakefront is being kept accessible to the general public.
Some people are concerned that rich homeowners are able to build structures that impede beach use. Others complain there isn’t enough park space.
Is there enough being done to make sure there is enough public space?
If not, what do you think the municipality should do to ensure the public has access to the waterfront?
For the full list of candidates, go to kelownacapnews.com and click on the election tab.
Being from Peachland this isn’t a big issue with 11 kilometres of shoreline. This being said this summer in West Kelowna I was kicked off of a section of the beach and told that the water was also off limits.
Try explaining that to an 8 and 5-year-old.
We didn’t go near the sand but in the water we definitely did. He yelled twice and gave up.
Better education for owners and the general public on this issue so people are aware.
Patrick Van Minsel
Peachland made the choice years ago to protect the lakefront. We are proud of our 5-kilometre lakefront with unobstructed access to the beach and the lake.
This feature attracts visitors from all over the valley. Peachland had always the foresight to protect the lake front. This year the district purchased one of the last remaining buildings at the lake and is expanding Heritage Park. A lot of towns and city’s should have followed this example.
In Kelowna, access to the lake shore has been a big issue. In Peachland, we are fortunate to have civic control of a large section of the waterfront and we have a well-used walkway along the lake. To reduce confusion over access rights, better signs would help. There are areas in Kelowna where additional access to the lake could be developed. People who pay the “big bucks” to live by the water, often try to restrict access. In my opinion, it would be better to spend the time and money to develop new lakeshore parks than to argue over where the high-tide level is next to private property.
Preserving beachfront and beach access for everyone, now and for future generations is paramount. Beach access and enjoyment should not just be for the privileged few.
I have no objection to some private docks, particularly if grandfathered in, but they should not block access to the beach, forcing beachgoers to climb over them or wade in water, to pass by them.
Peachland is unique in that we are one of the few communities with a headlease from the province, meaning we have more control over what happens along our foreshore. This also allows us to set annual fees and standards for docks and buoys. All of them must be passable.
The lake front has been changed with the rip rap rock being placed to protect our foreshore and I can’t say right now how long it will remain.
Large homes that are being built will not impede beach use as they are across the street.
We are doing all we can to keep access to the beach, but true there is now limited space.