Carr’s Landing resident Cara Reed presented a petition that contained 1,523 signatures to maintain public access at Gable Road North during Tuesday night’s regular council meeting. - Credit: Carli Berry/Capital News

Controversial Gable Road bylaw deferred

Lake Country - The residents of Lake Country clapped and hugged after the decision

A contentious Gable Road North bylaw was deferred by Lake Country city council in favour of working with the community to pay off Kelowna’s interest in Lake Country rail trail lands.

Roughly 50 residents filled the seats during Tuesday night’s regular council meeting, many of whom donned red shirts to show support for their petition which aims to preserve public beach access by Gable Road North.

The petition, when presented to city council during the meeting, gathered 1,523 signatures.

“The number we have at the moment, just to give you an idea, it’s actually more votes than you had to get elected last time Mayor Baker,” said Shaun Reed, with Friends of Gable Beach.

The issue began when three property owners approached the district requesting to purchase a strip of land at the Gable Beach Road end near Okanagan Lake. The potential sale drew criticism from the surrounding residents.

Approximately $1.1 million of the proposed sale would go towards reducing Kelowna’s interest in Lake Country Okanagan Rail Trail lands, according to the district. The negotiated amount for the properties was $1.34 million.

When Lake Country joined the multi-community group that purchased the Okanagan Rail Trail, the City of Kelowna paid for half of Lake Country’s portion of the trail in Lake Country, with the expectation it would be paid back within three years, or interest would start to accrue on the money, about $2.6 million.

This is not the first time council has heard from residents in the community regarding Gable Road North.

Carr’s Landing resident Cara Reed brought the issue to light in September, and brought up the Official Community Plan during the meeting, and protecting public land and access to the waterfront.

Numerous Lake Country residents addressed council and listed development issues with docks, environmental impacts and preserving public beach access with a growing population in Lake Country.

“Docks have been built high enough off the ground that I had to climb my way over them to access the beach,” said Carr’s Landing resident Bob Smith.

The crowd grew unruly when Mayor Baker referenced the OCP and beach access for everyone.

Coun. Penny Gambell suggested an alternative motion to passing the bylaw which would close Gable Road end. She said there is money that can be used out of the park acquisition fund, of about $1.6 million, that could go towards paying for the rail trail.

There is also $500,000 more available because it’s been a busy development year, she said.

A vast majority of the letters received were against the bylaw, said Gambell. “As a councillor, I believe I have an obligation to listen to those people here.”

Coun. Rob Geier seconded the motion, saying “I don’t want to be the council that gave up that property, I don’t think that’s the legacy we want in Lake Country.”

Coun. Jeanette Lambert supported the road closure bylaw, listing other parks available in the community, and Coun. Bill Scarrow and Coun. Blair Ireland said the district has a commitment to repay the City of Kelowna.

Coun. Ireland said he doesn’t see another way to pay off Kelowna’s interest than to sell the land.

To report a typo, email: edit@kelownacapnews.com.


@carliberry_
carli.berry@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Poppadoms and Kelowna RCMP look for witnesses of alleged theft

A generator attached to the food truck was cut last night

Motorcyclists hit on William R. Bennett bridge

RCMP are asking for any witnesses to come forward

First Advance Voting Numbers released for West Kelowna

On Oct. 10 742 ballots were cast for the upcoming municipal election

Fork and Spoon fundraiser raises $20,000

The Central Okanagan Food Bank played host to the unique dining experience

Okanagan Sun finish regular season atop B.C. Football Conference

Clinch home field advantage for Cullen Cup playoffs

Find me my furever home

Frankie is available for adoption from the Kelowna BC SPCA

Documentary series investigates missing North Okanagan women

APTN Investigates: Dark Valley airs Oct. 19

Enbridge to begin building road to access pipeline explosion site in B.C.

An explosion Tuesday knocked out a 91-centimetre line

Andrew Scheer on revamped NAFTA deal: ‘I would have signed a better one’

Conservative leader says he wouldn’t have signed USMCA

Matheson will have NHL hearing after Canucks rookie Pettersson hit

The 19-year-old Swedish centre appeared woozy after the hit

GUEST COLUMN: A better way to manage B.C.’s public construction

Claire Trevena responds to Andrew Wilkinson on NDP union policy

B.C. brewery creates bread beer from food waste

The brew aims to raise food waste awareness and provide funds for the food bank

Dad files Charter challenge after B.C. bans kids from taking transit unsupervised

Adrian Crook is taking his fight to B.C. Supreme Court

B.C. VIEWS: Cast your municipal vote for sanity on homelessness

Thousands on waiting list while anti-capitalist bullies get priority

Most Read