To the editor:
Boyce-Gyro Beach is Kelowna’s second largest beach, jam-packed with families and all the toys and essentials they bring along to have a successful beach day. Despite the fact that parking in the area is already a zoo, city hall is now quietly reducing parking capacity by over 40 per cent from around 200 stalls to 132. In other words, they are restricting public access to this fantastic beach just to satisfy the adjacent trailer park that is deemed not quite big enough for another condo development.
The city’s spin at last Thursday’s information session in the park claimed this plan would discourage use of the automobile. Sorry folks but at this particular beach the family needs a car to bring along the kids, picnic supplies, inflatables and strollers. Taking the bus or riding a bike with toddlers in tow is a bit unrealistic. Another important reason mentioned for selling the land is to pay for the over two million dollar cost to rework the parking. Sorry again folks, but we already have 200 paid-for parking stalls in place and so the money from the sale of the land is really only being used to make it possible to build condos next door. Finally, they told us that for eight months of the year the parking lot is not at capacity and only really needed for a few busy weekends. I beg to differ but with that kind of logic I guess that Big White ski resort parking lots are also excessive because they’re really only busy on weekends for about three months of the year.
City hall is overwhelmed these days with so much going on, and so I am not certain if everyone on city council has fully analyzed this project. If you share my opinion then I would urge you to immediately make that known to council before the legal formality that requires putting up a for sale sign expires and the lot is then sold to who we already know will be the buyer.
The remedy is very simple. Just don’t sell the portion of the lot that is already perfectly sized and suited for parking. The neighbouring land owner that wants this piece may have to rethink their plan but I think it’s pretty important to preserve the existing parking capacity needed to service Kelowna’s iconic beach.
Michael Neill, Kelowna