The City of Vernon is looking at the future of public accesses along Okanagan Lake.

The City of Vernon is looking at the future of public accesses along Okanagan Lake.

Neighbours put the squeeze on Vernon lake access

Council has instructed staff to look at encroachments on public accesses along Okanagan Lake.

Some Vernon residents may have to remove walls or buildings on city property.

Council has instructed staff to look at options for addressing encroachments on public accesses along Okanagan Lake.

“It’s quite shocking how people have built encroachments on property that’s not theirs,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

However, Coun. Brian Quiring doesn’t want the city to be heavy-handed.

“We don’t cut the grass. We don’t pick up the (fast food) bags, but adjacent property owners do,” he said.

“A lot of people are looking after our assets for free.”

The city is currently developing a lake access plan and the process will include public input.

“We will have two open houses,” said Kendra Kryszak, parks planner.

Information will also be provided to property owners adjacent to lake accesses and residents will be able to complete an online survey this winter.

The draft plan identifies 13 sites as being a high priority for improvements, 14 as medium priority, and 10 as a low priority. The draft plan also recommends that two lake access sites be sold and three others be incorporated into adjacent parks or trails. The draft plan proposes to maintain the existing annual budget of $50,000 to improve one lake access site per year.