Efforts to widen and upgrade Cosens Bay Road have come as a surprise to local officials. And many don’t like it.
The Ministry of Transportation met with Coldstream council Monday night to discuss plans for the road through Kalamalka Lake Provincial Park.
A process has been underway since September for a, “proposal to remove a 30 metre right of way to enable widening and upgrade of an existing road. The right of way would be of sufficient size to accommodate potential future utilities,” reads the project on the ministry website.
But this is the first local politicians have heard of it.
“We’re a little bit miffed that we weren’t advised of this,” said Coun. Peter McClean.
“How on Earth has this gotten to this?”
Coun. Gyula Kiss adds: “One would have expected that they would consult with local government before making these decisions if they wanted to be open about it.”
The project was also news to officials at the Regional District of North Okanagan – Cosens Bay actually falls within Area B.
While local cabin owners have been pushing for upgrades to the road due to safety issues, there are concerns among others about the result of widening Cosens Bay Road.
“My concern is for the viability of the park once this plan is executed and unrestricted vehicular access is allowed through the sensitive environment of this class A provincial park,” said Kiss.
Pointing out the size, “30 metres is significant,” McClean says it would accommodate ditching and Hydro.
“I think what you’d see is further development.”
But Kiss and McClean agree that will only burden the region.
“It’s certainly going to have an impact on Coldstream’s infrastructure and it’s definitely going to have an impact on the park,” said McClean.
He questions why this road has become a priority for the ministry while there are others in the region that affect far more people.
“There’s a lot more happening on Silver Star Road,” said McClean.
“This road is going to basically service only the cabins.”
A public input session will take place before any proposed plans evolve but no dates have been arranged.
McClean expects the ministry will be advising the regional district of its plans next.