Local group against waterfront visitor centre exploring possible legal action

A group that's opposed to the city opening up the waterfront for Tourism Kelowna's new visitor centre says it's considering filing a lawsuit against the city in the future.

Organizer Dianne Varga says about 80 people were at the meeting Wednesday night, which mostly featured planning out the next steps the group can take.

She says at this point, there's still lots to work out.

"We're still doing research and exploring what our legal position is. We think we have a defensible position, and we think we probably will take legal action," she said.

"This is really why we're coming together into a group. I mean, we intend to act, but we're not announcing anything yet."

Varga was also asked if any members of council had reached out, after voting to approve a zoning change that would allow the building.

"No, no, and no. The time has passed for informal pleading to City Hall to reconsider things. I mean, we're not going to have an effect through letter to the editor, or through rallies, or through petitions, those kinds of informal means."

The group is taking inspiration from a group that sued the City of Penticton back in 2015, over plans to develop Skaha Lake Park.

In that case, a settlement agreement was reached outside of court, and the project was amended.

And Varga is quick to point out, it's not as if the group doesn't see the need for an updated visitors centre.

"Nobody is opposed to Tourism Kelowna - we're opposed to the location of the visitors centre," she said.

"And more pointedly, we're opposed to public park land being taken away for the next 29 years in order to give a location to the visitors centre."