Lake Country council trying to sell Gable Beach again - InfoNews

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Lake Country council trying to sell Gable Beach again

Gable Beach in Lake Country may be sold to three private residents if council approves the deal next week.
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March 02, 2018 - 10:38 AM

LAKE COUNTRY – Lake Country councillors appear determined not to let over 1,500 residents stop them from selling 210 meters of wild beachfront in Carr’s Landing to three private residents.

Next Tuesday, March 6, council will vote to approve selling Gable Beach for $1.35 million as well as whether to buy another lot — roughly a tenth the size — for $200,000 more.

Carr’s Landing Community and Recreation Association spokesperson Cara Reed helped gather more than 1,500 signatures last year, enough to force council to abandon plans to sell the land to the same three residents who want it now. She says her group thought they’d heard the last of it when Lake Country Council sent out a media release titled “Win-Win solution proposed for expanded public access to Carr’s Landing lakefront.”

“On March 6 staff will be recommending that funds from the sale of the unbuilt right-of-way perpendicular to Gable Road be used to purchase a beachfront property on the south side of the popular Coral Beach Park in Carr’s Landing. The purchase would expand the footprint of Coral Beach Park by more than 30 percent. Additionally, about 50 lineal feet of lakefront will be retained from the area of Gable Road end originally considered for disposition,” the release from the District says.

Cara Reed says members of her Association are against the sale for several reasons, not least of which is that they were given only 12 days notice of the vote.

“They imply that they have consulted with neighbourhood groups, they haven’t," she says.

She says it's a bad deal for the District because it wants to sell Gable Beach for $1.35 million but buy the much smaller expansion for Coral Beach Park for $1.55 million which is $200,000 more.

“The beach that they’re selling is 210 meters long, the beach that they’re buying is 28 meters long, and that includes a pumping station,” Reed says. “The actual beachfront they’re buying is a tenth of the size of the beachfront they’re selling.”

Last August, Coun. Jeanette Lambert confirmed Gable Beach was not for sale, and that “a lot of unsubstantiated rumours were circulating.”

Reed accuses Council of ignoring the wishes of the 1,515 residents who signed the petition in favour of three, and says the Coral Beach Park expansion is just a convenient way around the Access to Body of Water Reserve Fund policy. The policy says waterfront land sold to private residents must be replaced with other waterfront property on the same body of water that is of greater or equal benefit to the community.

“The money they were originally planning to use for the rail trail is on another lake, so they can’t do that,” Reed says. “In order to get around this legal requirement, they have to buy land on Okanagan Lake. This is why they chose that particular plot.

“They’re not buying it for the good of the community, they’re buying it so they can get around and sell this piece of beach front.”

Requests for comment from Mayor James Baker and Coun. Lambert have received no response.

— This story was corrected at 12:31 p.m. Saturday, March 3, 2018 to remove erroneous information about the number of letters council has received on the issue.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw or call 250-718-0428 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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