Province has no plans to buy land for sale to add to Okanagan Mountain Park - InfoNews

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Province has no plans to buy land for sale to add to Okanagan Mountain Park

This lot on Scroggins Bay near Rattlesnake Island is for sale.
Image Credit: Submitted/David Jurome
June 17, 2019 - 5:30 PM

KELOWNA - A little-known stretch of private land next to Okanagan Mountain Park, one of few places with an accessible beach is up for sale — but the province has no plans to add it to the park.

The 2.8 ha parcel has 88 metres of frontage on Scroggins Bay, south of Rattlesnake Island and north of Squally Point across Okanagan Lake from Peachland.

The property is listed at $650,000 by Kelowna realtor David Jurome. His father, Bill, owned 61 ha. along that stretch of the lake. It was originally homesteaded in the early 1900s by a man named Scroggins who built a log cabin on the land and grew fruit.

Bill Jurome owned the land from the late 1980s into the 1990s.

“Back then, he was trying to sell the whole property to the province as parkland, but they didn’t have the money to buy it all,” David Jurome told iNFOnews.ca. “My father was a developer at the time. He said ‘if you’re not going to buy this as park, at least let me subdivide it into its highest and best use.’”

The province agreed so Bill Jurome subdivided it into 12 waterfront lots with a common strip joining them inland that belongs jointly to each individual lot owner.

“Five lots sold immediately,” Jurome said. “The government saw the lots were selling quickly so they found a way to come up with money and ended up buying seven of the remaining lots that were unsold and dedicated those back as park.”

The parcel currently for sale, lot three, has beach access and about a hectare “of nice flat land with beautiful views of the lake,” Jurome said.

The property has a good sized building site overlooking the bay.
The property has a good sized building site overlooking the bay.
Image Credit: Submitted/David Jurome

The zoning – which is with the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen – allows for a single-family home to be built on the land. Or it could be used as an equestrian centre, have a mobile home installed or be used as a “veterinary establishment” – as could the other four adjoining properties.

That means, in theory, five single-family homes could be built on those five lots, although they would have to provide their own electricity and septic systems and would only be accessible by boat. This lot comes with a water licence for 500 gallons a day from Okanagan Lake.

No homes are built there now, but some owners have docks and owners camp on their land at times.

It’s also an ideal property for the province to buy under the 1990 Okanagan Mountain Park Master Plan.

“To ensure these high-quality recreational opportunities remain and are enhanced, a number of specific actions are identified in this plan,” the document states. “The primary action is the acquisition of key inholdings which, if developed in future, could detract from the integrity of the park. There is also a strong emphasis placed on the combination of beach activities and backcountry use.”

Jurome has not yet approached the provincial government to see if it is interested. In the past, he said, there was never any money available.

Nothing has changed.

“The Scroggins Bay property has been identified by B.C. Parks in the past as possible acquisition opportunity, along with a variety of other inholdings,” the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change stated in an email to iNFOnews.ca. “B.C. Park’s available resources are currently fully allocated to other priority projects. If additional resources become available in the future, this property will be considered in the context of priorities across the province.”

Okanagan Mountain Park was established in 1973 by Premier W.A.C. Bennett who, at that time, was also Kelowna’s MLA.

It currently covers 11,038 hectares but the original park was smaller. Between 1975 and 1993, Dr. David Carruthers Murdoch donated 84.5 hectares through the Nature Trust of B.C.

Along with the land formerly owned by the Jurome family, there are two other stretches of private waterfront land north of Rattlesnake Island and south of the end of Lakeshore Road.

A map of the full park can be seen here.

Another view of Scroggins Bay where other lots have access as well.
Another view of Scroggins Bay where other lots have access as well.
Image Credit: Submitted/David Jurome

This map shows part of Okanagan Mountain Park where the private land is situated.
This map shows part of Okanagan Mountain Park where the private land is situated.
Image Credit: Submitted/David Jurome

To contact a reporter for this story, email Rob Munro or call 250-808-0143 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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