Letter: West Kelowna beaches already heavily utilized

The Willow Beach, the boat launch and Marina Park in West Kelowna are heavily used in the summer months, especially on weekends and statutory holidays.

To the editor:

The Willow Beach, the boat launch and Marina Park in West Kelowna are heavily used in the summer months, especially on weekends and statutory holidays.

The traffic congestion from vehicles attached to boat trailers and vehicles belonging to hikers, park visitors and beach goers is acute during these periods .

The Westbank Yacht Club wishes to expand and requires space to do so.

The boat launch at Powers Creek is heavily utilized throughout the summer. The new corridor from Powers Creek to the Cove resulted in the reduction of 20 standard 23-foot in length parking  stalls.

The population growth from 1996 to 2006 (the latest statistics) for the age group 0 to 4 years was zero, and the growth rate for the age group 5 to 9 was -2.7 per cent.

The actual “water” frontage at the George Court beach access is zero.

The actual “water” frontage of the accreted land at the end of the George Court beach access is nearly 62 feet, not the 50 feet being provided by the various supporters of the swap, and adds another 20 feet of land to the access length once application is made to the provincial government for consolidation under the Land Titles Act, section 94 and 95.

In the first half of 2009, there was no district plan to expand Marina Park. The Help Expand Marina Park was not a district-sponsored initiative but a privately funded campaign.

Why would anyone intentionally attempt to increase activity in an area that is already too heavily utilized and has experienced reduced available parking? (Boat owners can weight in here.)

Why wouldn’t one attempt to disperse the activities to other suitable locations? Gellatly Nut Farm beach (450+ feet of shoreline) or Pritchard Park (450+ feet of shoreline) or a number of beach accesses currently owned by the District of West Kelowna?

Why hasn’t the Marina Park land and foreshore been considered for the expansion of the Yacht club moorage? (Boat owners may also weigh in anytime here too.)

Why would anyone open the Pandora’s box that the precedent of this type of transaction will ultimately fuel?

Why is so much attention being devoted to the declining population group and to the smallest user group of the recreational area when very suitable options are nearby?

Why would one consider disposing of one of the largest of three beach accesses on Whitworth Road when two of the other remaining accesses are “encumbered,” whatever that means?

Dick Everson,

West Kelowna


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