Letter: Kelownians in danger of losing Cedar Ave. park

The city's now obvious commercial agenda for the property…should alert us all of the very real danger of losing it.

To the editor:

Recent letters concerning the fate of this long-awaited park (1989 to 2016) and the now obvious commercial agenda for the property sought by the city, should alert us all of the very real danger of losing it.

The public have been seduced into believing the 2014 rezoning to P3 means a park is assured. Mr. Drinnan’s well researched letter (City Has Ulterior Motive for Cedar Ave. Park, Sept. 22 Kelowna Capital News) points out the power of the city’s real estate department which allows them, under this P3 zoning, to choose a myriad of other uses for a property. This letter also pointed out that a seemingly large amount set aside to build, is not guaranteed. After some 12 years of vigorous public objections to the likely commercialism of this purchased-for-park lakeshore, we seem to have gained nothing. Ego, greed and power do hold the upper hand.

The city’s purposely set up charette first demanded the paddle club lease be included in the “peoples opportunity” to express themselves. That single device pretty well destroyed any early hope of park construction and the dictated city parameters set for that effort resulted in such a grandiose design at such overkill and cost it was condemned by the public, as was to be expected. Nothing about that exalted design resembled the simple green linear park always envisioned.

Now, with the P3 zoning in jeopardy, the city (stating lack of money to create a park) has deferred any progress for 10 years to 2027 when, in all likelihood, it will all go round again. Those years, however, provide the city with plenty of scheming time to fabricate some watertight edict capable of finally killing any park plan in favour of their boutique hotel lots of commercial development and the ex-mayor’s dream of miles of boardwalk.

This beautiful bay of broad views and secluded sweep of shoreline in the midst of the city is a true heritage original not easy to replace, bought so long ago for specific park purposes. Different times may require different uses but with a hectic world and madly exploding population we must protect our special places.

After all this fiasco and years of struggle, does the public still have the energy to continue, or is the battle lost? Will the city ever listen? Are the new mayor and council really there for the public good?

City hall: Please build your commercial plans, maybe for lesser profit, on the east side of Abbott across the street from the park—create a spectacular addition to the burgeoning South Pandosy area by doing so. Give us a little break from cement and rebar, follow the earlier city commitment and preserve this precious bit of lakeshore as was planned so long ago—for all of us.

Joy Lambrick, Kelowna