PENTICTON - The City of Penticton is facing a second lawsuit connected to a controversial development proposal in Skaha Lake Park.
Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said in an email Friday, July 29, the papers served to the city by Penticton resident Nelson Meikle “echo concerns of the Save the Park Society" regarding the usage of Skaha Lake Park.
Save the Park Society, a group of Penticton residents dedicated to preserving Skaha Lake Park in its present state, filed a lawsuit against the city last September, challenging the city’s legal right to enter into a development agreement with Trio Marine Group to build a waterslide park in the park.
Meikle’s claim, filed Thursday, July 28, names both the city and Trio Marine Group.
Meikle’s filing — in which he describes himself as a regular park user and advocate of preserving the park as an open natural park free and accessible to all — argues the lease entered by the city with Trio Marine Group was not legal as no consent was sought through referendum or other means after the city advertised its intention to dispose of a portion of the park in the July 15 edition of the Penticton Western.
Meikle is seeking an injunction against the city to prohibit the granting of a license to Trio Marine to operate its business on any but the marina grounds adjacent the park.
He is also demanding the city seek approval for the proposed waterpark from the electorate and wants all documents related to Skaha Park land agreements released.
The mayor, in his email statement, said the city will respond to the claims and continue towards finding a solution outside of court.
“With recent gatherings of all parties at one table, we are optimistic a resolution with Save Skaha Park Society can be found outside the courtroom. We feel this would be the best outcome for all involved,” he wrote, adding it was the hope Mr. Meikle would also agree that out of court solutions were best for taxpayers.
Mayor Jakubeit also noted the city was in the process of creating a parks and recreation master plan which he hopes will answer the decades old question about the level of commercialization, if any, should be allowed in parks, in addition to "clarifying which type of park or activity the community wants as well as defining the process required to achieve that outcome."
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