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Plan to open up lake access

Ten properties on Lakeshore Road could be developed by the North Okanagan Regional District as public access to Okanagan Lake. - cory bialecki/morning star
Ten properties on Lakeshore Road could be developed by the North Okanagan Regional District as public access to Okanagan Lake.
— image credit: cory bialecki/morning star

Expanded lake access could be moving ahead in Greater Vernon later this year.

The North Okanagan Regional District is considering improvements to 10 Lakeshore Road properties so people can enjoy Okanagan Lake.

“It will make quite a difference,” said Al McNiven, parks and recreation general manager, of increased access.

“It would provide a greenway along the water.”

NORD has owned many of the sites for years, but action is just being taken now to upgrade them.

“We have enough properties adjacent to each other that it makes sense to begin enhancements,” said McNiven.

All of the properties have 50-foot frontages along the lake.

The proposed work includes the removing of dangerous trees, rough grading, installation of a wood rail fence, signage, log benches, planting willow trees and seeding for lawn.

“Park development will also be consistent with crime prevention through environmental design principles as well as adhere to guidelines set forth by the Ministry of Environment for the development of properties adjacent sensitive environmental areas,” said Keith Pinkoski, parks planner, in a memo.

However, the $220,000 project depends on it being included in the regional district’s 2011 budget.

“We’ll know in early March if it’s approved,” said McNiven.

If the funds are available, the next step will be to go to the City of Vernon and ask that the properties be rezoned from residential to parks and open space.

Once rezoning is done and the project has gone to tender, it could be late spring before work begins.

“It should be started before summer but when you get in there and start levelling things out and installing irrigation, it could be late summer before it’s done,” said McNiven.

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