Carr’s Landing residents were pleased to see Lake Country council’s rejection of a controversial road closure bylaw.
Around 100 Lake Country and Kelowna residents piled into the district’s municipal hall to give their opinions about the bylaw for Gable Road end last night.
The district planned to sell three properties adjacent to the road for $1,341,763, and use the funds to expand Coral Beach Park. But after listening to the public’s concerns, council rejected the bylaw.
The sale of the land was originally proposed to pay off a portion of Kelowna’s interest in Lake Country rail trail lands, but was deferred by council in November after Carr’s Landing residents rallied against it.
And they rallied against the bylaw and the district’s proposal again.
Friends of Gable Beach member Cara Reed has been vocal over a number of months about Gable Beach, saying the district is selling important waterfront property.
She warned the district that the sale “simply does not meet criteria of equal benefit” before presenting a small slideshow which contained quotes from council members from the previous meeting in November.
The audience clapped and cheered after Reed’s presentation.
Kerri Black, a resident on Coral Beach Road, said there is not enough parking at Coral Beach and the beach is already congested, especially at the boat launch.
“Gable Beach has much more beach than Coral Beach, Carr’s Landing has very little beach access,” she said.
The youngest person speaking at the meeting was nine-year-old Autumn, who asked the district to save Gable Beach after she listed all the activities she does during the summer including swimming and snorkeling.
Another youth asked the district where else she could go with her friends. After spending one summer in Lake Country, she uses Gable Beach and had created fond memories there.
“The concern for the rail trail is gone, or at least mitigated, we are genuinely as a council trying to consider ways to improve park access,” said Coun. Bill Scarrow. “We saw this as an imminent opportunity to do just that.”
The parking and congestion at Coral Beach are only going to get worse as the district continues to grow, he said. Scarrow proposed to hold a town hall meeting with residents and associations in Carr’s Landing to better enhance beach access for the district.
Coun. Jeanette Lambert brought up other unused parks in the district that “we have not managed to the best of their potential.”
Lambert was the only one who voted against rejecting the road closure bylaw.
After listening to the public’s input, Coun. Penny Gambell said the district should have a clearer parks plan, using parking as an example of an issue in other parts of Lake Country, not just Carr’s Landing.
The Friends of Gable Beach members were pleased to hear council’s decision.
“This has been an incredible commitment by every member of the community in getting us to the stage. We’re delighted council heard us, that they acknowledged our concerns” said Reed. “We couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”
Moving forward, as vice chair for the Carr’s Landing Community and Recreation Association, Reed will be starting the process of working with the district on enhancing lakefront access.
“The council has done itself proud. I think that’s a decision that we’ll look back on in five to 10 years and look at the developments happening in Carr’s Landing and know it started at today’s council meeting.”
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