Penticton responds to legal action against proposed waterslide development

FILE PHOTO - Protestors gather in front of city hall on July 20, 2015. The City of Penticton has filed a statement of defence in response to a lawsuit launched by the Save the Park Society.

PENTICTON - The City of Penticton has responded to a civil suit filed to stop the development of a waterslide on park land.

The city filed its statement of defence today, Aug. 31, regarding the suit initiated by the Save Skaha Park Society, according to a media release.

The society's civil claim against the City of Penticton and Trio Marine Group Inc. is an effort to stop plans to lease 5.83 acres of the park to Trio Marine for up to 39 years in order to develop a waterslide.

The city has been working towards resolving the issues brought forward in the legal action over the past 10 months outside of court, and remains optimistic a negotiated solution is still possible, the release states.

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit says the best solution to the issues the society has would be to come to the table for rational conversation away from sensationalism and lawyers.

“This is still the aim and we will work to resolve this through all channels. Our defence helps us get closer to resolution and an outcome we can all embrace,” Jakubeit says in the release.

The city’s statement denies the land in question was acquired on trust conditions and shows council acted within its authority regarding Skaha Park agreements.

The city also takes the position that approval of electors is only applicable under specific circumstances of acquisition in the Community Charter and does not apply to these agreements. Electoral approval is only necessary were the city to remove the dedication of parkland, which was not intended.

The city continues to look at an out of court resolution, while the next step of the legal process involves discovery.

A similar statement of defence was filed in a civil claim brought forward by Nelson Meikle in regards to the proposed Skaha Park development.

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