An inflatable water park proposed for the Osoyoos Lake beachfront north of Gyro Park appears to have the community’s support.
Just one presentation was made at a public hearing Monday evening to discuss an Okanagan Wibit to set up just outside the downtown park — the message delivered by local resident Robert Johnson a number of concerns related to location.
“The location off the north end of Gyro Park is the wrong location for safety, developers, equipment damage, boaters and existing users of this waterway,” Mr. Johnson wrote in a letter read by Mayor Sue McKortoff.
“It is not in keeping with the sailing, paddleboarding, wind- and kite-sailing taking place in this designated wind and paddle area of the park.”
Mr. Johnson added the Gyro location “has the (lake’s) fastest current, two- to three-foot waves and winds exceeding 50 km/h during the summer.”
He then detailed those concerns in a brief presentation.
“I’d like to lend my support for the concept — I think it is absolutely phenomenal that the community could have this type of activity,” he said. “I just ask that the Council look deeply into this.”
“We have a Town potentially building a pier right in the same area and we already have existing fullness in the parking,” he added.
A representative from the water park offered to meet with Mr. Johnson and discuss his concerns.
The rare evening Council session lasted just 15 minutes.
Earlier this month, Osoyoos Council gave two readings to a zoning change that would allow Okanagan Wibit to set up the inflatable play area directly behind the Osoyoos Museum and Osoyoos Seniors Centre.
Space at Gyro Park would also be required for up to five life jacket storage bins and a registration kiosk. The bins and the kiosk would be placed at the southeast corner of Gyro Park’s main grassed area, next to the Senior Centre’s lawn bowling area.
The park, which would include an inter-connected series of structures covering up to a 51-metre x 40-metre space and accommodate between 120 and 140 users, was originally to be placed at either Legion or Cottonwood Beach.
But Okanagan Wibit, which owns and operates similar parks in Penticton, Peachland and Kelowna, discounted those locations, noting proximity to resorts and public facilities, inadequate water depths and boat traffic.