City says foreshore should be unobstructed where possible

The city says rebuilding the foreshore- unobstructed- is on their radar.  

Ryan Smith, Community Planning Manager, says the city is open to dedicating more resources to the cause, but it would have to be in partnership with the province, which has control over the foreshore.

“I think it’s something that’s, you know, politically on council’s mind, on staff’s mind, and the community’s mind as well, that where possible, structures that have historically impeded access along Okanagan Lake be removed,” says Ryan Smith, Community Planning Manager “especially if they weren’t ever permitted, and most of them weren’t.”

Some residents have been calling on the city and province to make the foreshore accessible to the public and say the flooding is a chance to finally make it happen.

The construction of docks is supposed to be approved by the province and is not to obstruct public access of the foreshore; however that has not been enforced over the years.

Smith says the province has been dedicating more man-power to inspections and enforcement over the last few years, and while the city doesn’t have jurisdiction over the foreshore, he says there is a zoning by-law which is in the process of being updated.

“Gives us the ability to, say the province didn’t have the man-power to follow up on a dock that was built contrary to the regulations and then the city by-laws too, we could also follow up with the by-law enforcement.”

The update is being done so the by-law is in consistent with provincial regulation.

Smith says with water levels still high, it will take a while before any new construction along the foreshore is attempted.