To the editor:
Recent plans to rearrange the parking lots at Gyro Beach and to subdivide the Watt Road parking lot makes no sense.
The city claims the proposal is justified because it makes parking more efficient, improves active transportation routes and vehicle access and animates Lakeshore Road.
What bunk! Nothing could be further from the truth. Here’s why.
This proposal is being driven solely by a compulsive desire to subdivide and sell what is supposed to be public parkland to someone in the private sector.
City staff falsely justify this subdivision and land sale by claiming a temporary road linking Watt and Lakeshore roads is needed. But that link already exists at the northern end of the park and clearly is not needed. Staff also claim a subdivision is needed to make beach parking more efficient but reducing parking by 42 per cent is not efficient. They also claim a land sale will finance park development but that money should have come from the 2016 sale of the Gyro Beach parking lot on the east side of Lakeshore Road.
City staff also claims that a linking road will be built at the corner of Lexington and Lakeshore roads – where it should be located – but that is no guarantee that it will ever be built. It is more likely the temporary link will become the permanent link once the subdivision occurs and all road construction costs become known.
At the end of the day, this proposal is more about raising cash from a land sale than it is about good planning. It is more about bamboozling taxpayers than it is about being honest with them and bringing forward cost benefit analyses for public review. It is more about commercial exploitation of another waterfront park than it is about protecting public parks and open spaces. It is more about public deceit than it is about public openness. It is more about the privatization of public lands than it is about public land uses.
This proposal is another attempt by city staff to purchase and finance public waterfront parkland with taxpayers money and then to sell or give it away to the private sector.
Taxpayers need protection from these compulsive gamblers and their deceitful land speculation practices.
Richard Drinnan, Kelowna