Credit: Facebook

Year in review: Public beach access a hot topic for Lake Country residents

Gable Beach was a contentious issue for Lake Country

The battle of Gable Beach was a hot issue this year, especially for Carr’s Landing residents.

The district’s attempt to sell land near the foreshore was defeated after Carr’s Landing residents filled the seats of municipal hall and protested the sale of three pieces of land near the Gable Road road end, which would go towards paying off Lake Country’s debt to Kelowna for its investment in the district’s section of Okanagan Rail Trail.

A new bench located at Gable Beach stands as a symbol of what can be achieved when residents rally for their rights, but also as a warning of what could have been when a city grows complacent to and lets developers do as they like.

One of my Australian friends was baffled when he saw how little beach access there is for the public in Kelowna, with massive fences and homes enclosing public property, he said the concept is unheard of in Australia.

An inaugural Walk the Beach protest in Kelowna highlighted the frustration of the nearly 100 residents, and showed how difficult it is to reclaim something once it’s gone. It’s not a new issue either in the Central Okanagan either. The lack of public beach access was brought to light again after the 2017 floods washed away illegal docks, allowing the province to develop a better system to ensure they’re built to regulations.

Waterfront property lines only extend to the high water mark, the land below lies under provincial and public jurisdiction. Docks built to the lake must also come with steps on either side.

Carr’s Landing residents fought for months to have the beach retained under the district’s jurisdiction, afraid that council’s decision would lead to the closure of the beach to the public.

The election results showed that Lake Country wants a council to protect these rights. Once a protester, now a councillor, Carr’s Landing’s newest Coun. Cara Reed will be watched closely in the year ahead to see if she can stick to her words.

It’s easier to stand up to an authority than it is to deal with unhappy citizens when you’re in the driver’s seat, but Reed seems eager to take on the task.

But if you want your beach access protected, prepare to stand up for it.

Carli Berry is the Capital News reporter who covers Lake Country issues.

Just Posted

Car torched: $1,000 reward offered for return of stolen massage machine

Odette Baumgartner’s vehicle was stolen and then burned in Kelowna.

Dust advisory in affect for Kelowna

Avoid roads with heavy vehicle traffic

Big White firefighters camp on roof to raise money

The eighth annual Rooftop Camp Out, hosted by the Big White Fire Department, starts Friday

UPDATE: Gun allegedly drawn over garbage dispute in Kelowna

The public is asked to stay away from the Christleton Avenue area

Pedestrian hit by slow moving vehicle in Kelowna

Rose and Richter are closed due to pedestrian struck

Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash sentenced to eight years

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

B.C. conservation officers talk bear awareness

How to stay safe this spring in bear country

Fierce feline spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Wilson-Raybould to reveal more details, documents on SNC-Lavalin affair

Former attorney general has written to the House of Commons justice committee

Anti-discrimination group wants to map offenders with cross-Canada hate atlas

Morgane Oger Foundation issues call for volunteers to help build Canadian Atlas of Populist Extremism

Kater to launch ridesharing service in Vancouver by end of month

The Surrey-based company got its permits from the Vancouver Taxi Association

Second case of measles reported in the B.C. Interior

Case is connected to an earlier measles case in 100 Mile House

Explore the sunken treasures of the Shuswap

Divers explore historic boats and a Ford Model T that broke through lake ice while on a delivery

Most Read