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Kelowna wants to unpave paradise, tear parking lot out of Gyro Beach park

FILE PHOTO - Gyro beach, Kelowna.
October 15, 2017 - 10:30 AM

KELOWNA - At the height of summer, a spot in the small parking lot inside Kelowna’s Boyce Gyro beach park is highly coveted.

But the ground it covers — worth as much as $3 million by one rough estimate — is too valuable as additional park space to leave it just to 32 individual cars, says a report by City of Kelowna parks manager Robert Parlane.

His staff are recommending the city unpave paradise and return the .41 ha parcel back to park users, turning part of it into more beach volleyball courts, installing outdoor table tennis courts, additional bike racks and more lawn to spread out on.

In addition, Parlane says it will improve the beach view, boost pedestrian safety and make it more viable for larger beach volleyball tournaments to be held in Kelowna.

Offsetting the loss of the 32 stalls will be the expansion to 132 stalls of the existing 100-stall lot on Lakeshore Road parking and the addition of 30 on-street stalls after Lanfranco Road is extended.

To offset construction costs, the smaller lot will be removed and improved at the same time as the expansion of the larger lot in early 2018. No estimates of the addtional cost are provided.

Parlane acknowledges in his report the parking problems known to plague the area during summer weekends will continue but says the city can’t afford to design parking for a handful of peak-use summer weekends.

“There will always be weekends during the summer in which no amount of parking space could accommodate the amount of visitors to the park,” Parlane says.

Kelowna council will consider the recommendation at its public city council meeting, 1:30 p.m Monday, October 16 in council chambers at Kelowna City Hall.

132 new parking stalls are planned to go next to Boyce-Gyro Park in Kelowna.
132 new parking stalls are planned to go next to Boyce-Gyro Park in Kelowna.
Image Credit: Contributed/City of Kelowna

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