The District of Lake Country has responded to residents with a letter regarding a controversial Gable Road bylaw, saying the proposed sale of some land in the area won’t affect public access to what’s known as Gable Beach.
Three property owners approached the district requesting to purchase a strip of land at the Gable Beach Road end and the move drew criticism from area residents.
One resident appeared before city council in September and requested the beach area to be turned into a city park.
The negotiation of the sale had been done in-camera as is the law in B.C. Now that the district says it has completed the negotiation, it has sent a letter to area residents explaining the move.
Approximately $1.1 million of the proposed sale will go towards reducing Kelowna’s interest in Lake Country Okanagan Rail Trail lands. The negotiated amount for the properties is $1.34 million, according to the letter.
According to Matt Vader, manager of strategic and support services with the district, the selling of land will not affect beach or designated park access.
The properties will include up to the present natural boundary, said Vader. “Even private properties that have up to the water, there is still public access along the foreshore.”
The access will be the same as every other waterfront property in B.C. and the district, upon selling the properties, doesn’t envision owners will not follow provincial legislation, he said.
Those requesting to purchase the land already have adjacent properties.
“These are already tied to the properties that are adjacent to these. These are not stand alone, there will be nothing in terms of structures built on this,” said Vader.
He added a person also can’t build within 30 metres of the foreshore.
Two of the three owners’ properties already have houses on them, he said.
The circular roundabout at the end of Gable Road is also not up for discussion, said Vader. Gable Beach park land, located next to the Gable Beach B&B will still be accessible to the public.
It has also been proposed that nearby parks be enhanced to include a new playground and furniture at Coral Beach, more furniture and moving the raft out of the range of boats at Gable Beach, increased access and site furniture at Whiskey Cove and an all-weather pathway joining Maki and Coral Beach Roads, according to the letter.
The concern is that the owners of the land, if the land is sold, owner’s will build docks and prevent residents from accessing the beach.
A petition is going around Lake Country saying “The District of Lake Country regards the approx 200m stretch of public land known as Gable Beach North as ‘surplus’ to requirements and is proposing to sell the largest section of publicly accessible waterfront in the Carr’s Landing area to the hands of three private individuals.”
This sale is in direct opposition to the directives and statements of the Official Community Plan, the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the Carr’s Landing Community Sector Plan.”
“We, the undersigned, urge our District of Lake Country Council to reject the proposed road closure bylaw and sale of publicly accessible waterfront land known as Gable Beach North ref RC2017-001. Let’s make it a Public Park.”
Nothing has been finalized and the proposed bylaw will to be presented during a regular council meeting in early November.
Carr’s landing resident Cara Reed said she can see it’s an attractive solution to sell the land, but the land is valuable.
“Once that land is gone it is never coming back.”
The residents hope to present the petition during the council meeting in November.
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