A revamped plan for a popular park in Penticton is now before city council, waiting for approval. The original plan included a waterslide being built on green space in Skaha Lake Park. That was part of the reason for a groundswell of opposition, including a 1000 person strong human chain formed around the park in September 2015.
The plan sparked other boisterous protests and thousands of signatures were collected on petitions.
In response to the public backlash the waterpark proposal was scrapped and a new deal was reached in December.
Now developer Trio Marine Group reached its first milestone by submitting its five year business plan to the city.
The new proposal allows Trio to operate the marina, a restaurant, retail area as well as some parking and the existing concession stand.
But in Skaha Park, the city wants to make it clear there are no options for any type of water slide, hotel or other commercial facility and no green space will be lost.
“Yes that’s in response to the community and it’s unfortunate it took eighteen months to happen but it did happen and we are moving forward with what everyone is comfortable with in terms of a marina being expanded because it was rundown and needed some repair,” said mayor Andrew Jakubeit.
Ron Barillaro is with Penticton Citizens First, one of the groups that fought hard against commercialization of the park.
Barillaro said he’s cautiously optimistic about the new plan but says his group will maintain a watchdog role.
“You know and I know that you can promise anybody anything and the proof of the pudding is in the eating because there has been so much that’s been done behind closed doors that we don’t find out about it until later,” he said.
Under the new agreement Trio can increase the number of boat slips from 60 to 100 and upgrade the marina.
In 2018 a “seasonal marine amenity” is possible and in 2019 the existing boathouse and concession could be amalgamated into one building, pending public input and city approval.
The city has until May 15th to review the business plan and give Trio the thumbs up.
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