Report launches harsh criticisms

A study into boat launches is making waves.

The Okanagan Landing Community Association is blasting a consultant’s report that looked into the future of boat launches for the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee.

“The recommendations in the consultant’s report are completely contrary to the consensus of the (public) planning session,” said Victor Cumming, association president, in a letter to GVAC.

In particular, the association is upset with recommendations that call for the Paddlewheel Park boat launch to remain the primary facility for the region, and for the launch to be expanded to create greater capacity.

“The boat launch already has a detrimental impact on people using the beach and swimming area,” said Cumming.

“Increasing the size of the launch and creating greater capacity for boat launching will only add to this situation and the concerns of the people using the park.”

The association owns the land where the launch sits.

“This fact does not appear to be considered in her (consultant’s) recommendations,” said Cumming, adding that his group is opposed to moving the tennis courts to increase boat launch parking.

“There are many other solutions, some of which were shared with the consultant and have not appeared in the report.”

GVAC officials insist communications over Paddlewheel Park will continue.

“We will meet with the association if they want to do that again and they can participate in the second stakeholder meeting,” said Tannis Nelson, community development co-ordinator.

Beyond the Landing association, some politicians are also concerned about the report.

“There’s no cost presented anywhere,” said director Mike Macnabb.

“A valet service was not further defined in the report. There’s no substance to it other than a concept.”

A recommendation for a boat launch manager, though, is garnering interest from director Jim Garlick.

“They would direct traffic and tell people what the process is to launch your boat,” he said.

Garlick also believes there may be a need to identify areas on local lakes specifically for motorized boats and non-motorized vessels.

“Do paddle boats and kayakers fit where you have water skiers?” he said.

The consultant’s report will go to Coldstream and Vernon councils for review.