A number of Lake Country residents have pooled together to push back against a waterfront park proposal.
A petition against the latest design proposal for Oyama Isthmus Park was delivered to council Oct. 6. It includes 1,114 signatures: 74 from hard copies at local businesses and 1,009 online (of those 285 are Lake Country residents, 132 Okanagan residents, 354 Canadian residents and 312 international residents).
The current park design stretches along Oyama Road from Trask Road to the boat launch and includes a dock, a play pier with zipline, family beach, pocket beaches, dog beach, play area, washrooms, performance area and more.
In favour of a less invasive approach, the petition asks that the high watermark of Wood Lake to the boundary of the Okanagan Rail Trail to remain untouched by future development.
“I have lived in Oyama my whole life, it should be a shame to see the beautiful scenery change in my opinion,” Winfield resident Lauren Roberts said in the petition comment.
Rod Long also grew up in Lake Country, but now resides in Manvel, U.S. and agrees. “Keep some of what it was as it is.”
Several other residents say the money would be better spent on improving roads and sidewalks in the district.
“Oyama can’t handle the traffic we are already dealing with, it’s becoming a nightmare for the people that live here,” resident Dale Nairne said. “I would love to see less parking and people, not more.”
Lake Country staff and council will review the comments and signatures and take them into consideration as the Isthmus park design is a long-term plan under review and would likely be developed in sections over time.
“Community engagement and public input on the Oyama Isthmus Park Design Concept is a key part of the process,” Lake Country’s public engagement specialist Ruth Sulentich said. “Council values all community input regardless if comments support or do not support the project. All input will be considered by council as budget items relating to the Isthmus project are deliberated at annual budget meetings moving forward.”
Lake Country residents were also recently surveyed on the park plans, which 321 responded to. The results were:
- 93 very dissatisfied
- 51 dissatisfied
- 38 neither satisfied nor dissatisfied
- 61 satisfied
- 78 very satisfied