The City of Vernon is looking at more parking options for Paddlewheel Park on Okanagan Lake. (Morning Star - file photo)

The City of Vernon is looking at more parking options for Paddlewheel Park on Okanagan Lake. (Morning Star - file photo)

More parking options ‘paramount’ for popular Vernon boat launch

City trying to create more parking at and for Paddlewheel Park but staffing issues have stalled the plan

More parking plans for a popular Vernon beach have stalled.

City of Vernon staff have been looking at additional parking options for Paddlewheel Park on Okanagan Lake, including creating street parking where possible. But due to slim staffing resources in the city’s transportation department, work on the plan has been parked for the time being.

“I know we have a staff shortage but we have ended up with just one boat launch on that side (of the lake) because the other one is caught up in provincial ministry approval processes,” said Mayor Victor Cumming during the regular meeting of council Monday, April 25.

The city closed the boat launch in the 8800 block of Okanagan Landing Road south of Paddlewheel Park in April 2021 due to safety concerns, and said at the time the site would remain closed until improvements are made that would remove the concerns, such as broken metal cables, concrete blocks, tripping hazards, erosion in the storm outfall and a structurally compromised concrete slab.

Staff will have a more detailed report prepared for council’s perusal at its May 30 scheduled meeting and Cumming looks forward to the finished product.

“We are marketing our community as a tourism community and we will end up having quite the bottleneck at Paddlewheel Park,” he said. “The need to look at this (parking) is paramount. Even if it’s (street parking) available weekends only. The physical space is there.”

Staff also updated council on two other parking issues.

An inquiry was made April 11 about parking on Bench Row Road adjacent to Carlson Park. There is currently a pull-out adjacent to the park on the north side of the road that can hold three-to-five vehicles, but there is no parking presently within Carlson Park.

The greenspace is listed in the city’s Parks Master Plan as a future project at which time parking would be considered.

And up on East Hill, where an inquiry was made about parking signs on the laneway east of Lakeview Park, council was told there are currently No Parking signs posted within the laneway, though they’ve been on temporary posts for a number of years.

Some of the signs have gone missing over the years. Staff recently redistributed the remaining signs within the laneway.

City traffic bylaw #5600 states that laneway parking is prohibited within the city.

READ MORE: Safety concerns close public Vernon boat launch

READ MORE: Vernon boat launch to temporarily close

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