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Undeveloped lakefront property in South Okanagan likely to become parkland

A view of Sickle Point on Skaha Lake, near the community of Kaleden in the South Okanagan. Evelyn Kansy

An undeveloped piece of lakefront property in the South Okanagan appears destined to become parkland.

Known as Sickle Point, the 4.8-acre parcel of land is situated along Skaha Lake, in the unincorporated community of Kaleden.

On Tuesday, a committee backing the push for Sickle Point to become parkland announced that an offer to buy the land has been accepted. The price: $2.5 million.

Read more: Okanagan community rallies to save ‘gem of Kaleden’ from development

The Save Sickle Point committee said the deal was reached following weeks of negotiations that involved the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS), with the mortgage claimant, Lanyard Investments, Inc., accepting the offer.

“Despite initial pressure to offer the asking price of $3.195 million, we are thrilled that the fair price of the assessed value of $2.5 million has been accepted,” said Randy Cranston of the Save Sickle Point committee.

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“The offer is now dependent on public approval of the required borrowing bylaw and final consent from the Supreme Court of B.C., in this court-ordered bankruptcy sale.”

The committee is hoping to raise the $2.5 million, and says it has until 2022 to do so.

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Okanagan community rallies to save ‘gem of Kaleden’ from development – Nov 24, 2020

It says they currently have $284,350 in pledges so far towards the purchase of the property.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to add to Kaleden’s park and lakefront greenspace and to support and encourage birds, wildlife, and threatened foreshore habitat,” said the committee.

However, in announcing the sale, the committee said there will be a cost to property owners living in the Kaleden recreation service area.

It’s projected the RDOS financed-portion cost will be around $1 million, which should “translate into a local tax-based cost of about $53 per average residential property, or even less should a larger amount be raised from other sources.”

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It appears the RDOS will use the alternative approval process to approve borrowing money for the proposed parkland.

The committee, though, said there will be no taxation cost before 2022, which should give “the community fundraising efforts time to backfill the cost and minimize any cost to taxpayers.”

“We recognize this is a lot to ask of our small community at this time,” added Doreen Olson committee member.

“However, future generations will thank the far-sightedness of the community for preserving this last area of beautiful lakefront and natural habitat for everyone’s enjoyment rather than allowing it to be privately purchased and developed.”

On Wednesday night, Jan. 13, the RDOS will be holding an electronic town hall to provide information about its public loan request.

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“RDOS staff will be on hand to discuss the financial impacts, alternative approval process and next steps,” the regional district said in a press release.

The online town hall meeting will run from 7 to 8 p.m.

For more information about how to join the town hall meeting, click here.