Skaha Marina + waterpark FAQ

In light of the community dialogue on the Skaha Marina & waterpark, here are some answers to frequently asked questions about the topic:

Why are you giving away parkland?

The City is not “giving away” any land - parks or otherwise. The marina and waterslide areas will be leased to Trio Marine Group, and that lease requires Trio to pay market rates. For example, in 2019 (first year of full operations), the lease for the marina, restaurant and waterpark would work out to $89,931, plus taxes of $65,293. They are also required to pay revenue sharing from all sales, and 100% of this will go in a dedicated account so the City can reinvest in park space or waterfront amenities.

Why is the City allowing a lease on parkland for the private sector?

The RFP process for Skaha Marina was about injecting vibrancy into Penticton’s southern lake, as part of the waterfront enhancement strategic priority. The objective was to re-establish Penticton as a destination, and have more amenities and energy at Skaha Lake.

Are there other examples of the City leasing parkland to the private sector?

The City has been leasing land and green space to private entities for many years. Skaha Marina has operated in the past with commercial sales, repair and storage of boat, watersport craft and snowmobiles. Another example in the community would be LocoLanding – a local business that not only visitors enjoy, but engages Penticton’s youth in activities and shoulder season fun as well.

How much green space will be impacted by the Skaha Lake Marina & Water Park project?

This aerial map shows two sections in purple and pink. The purple area is green space impacted within the agreement, and measures 12,292 square metres. The area in pink may or may not be impacted, depending on riparian areas; it measures 2,227 square metres. The entirety of Skaha Lake Park that is zoned park, not covered in asphalt, paths, playgrounds, etc., totals 107,888 square metres.

This menas that between 11 and 13% of green space in Skaha Lake Park could be impacted by the marina and water park project.

What if Trio doesn’t make any profit?

The agreement with the City requires Trio to pay a percentage share of the total revenue – not profit – meaning the City and taxpayers are paid first.

Why isn’t the City buying more parkland?

The City is interested in adding park space to the community inventory, and receives many requests each year from sport user groups that would like new, expanded and/or improved amenities. While some larger parcels are available in municipal boundaries, the real estate costs are significant - and beyond what the City can currently afford.

In order to add passive space or sports user amenities, the City must put aside money for future parkland acquisition. The revenue share from Trio Marine Group will help build this fund, and contribute to our community for generations to come.

What about the splash pad? That children’s feature was donated for Skaha Lake Park.

The free splash pad will be relocated before any construction begins in that area of the park – and the new splash pad location will be accessible to the public for FREE. It was built by one of Penticton’s service groups, Rotary, and the City and Trio both commit to ensuring access to this donated amenity will remain. Under the agreement, Trio is required to have dialogue with stakeholders like Rotary on outstanding items like the splash pad. Rotary also contributed the Centennial Pavilion at Skaha Lake Park, and this feature will remain unchanged.

What about environmental regulations - have you thought about impacts to riparian/wetland areas?

The agreement requires Trio to obtain approvals from the City of Penticton, the B.C. Government and Government of Canada with respect to any environmental regulations. Given the stringent requirements of senior levels of government, Trio is responsible for researching, applying and obtaining those provincial and/or federal approvals themselves as a condition of the  of the agreement.

What about the trees?

Skaha Lake Park is home to many Ponderosa Pine trees. Most of the trees in the park will remain; there are some located in the proposed water slide area, though, that will have to come down. Trio will be required to present a landscaping plan, which will take into account trees and riparian area affects, and discussions with Trio have indicated they are open to looking at water slide configuration to avoid trees wherever possible.

But the public has made several comments about preserving green space in Skaha Lake Park; in light of this, the City will be investigating a tree planting project for 2016 and beyond to ensure shade and green space is preserved as much as possible in Skaha Lake Park.

What about zoning - doesn’t this require public assent (referendum, etc.)?

Skaha Park is zoned P2 – parks and recreation. Permitted uses in that include things like recreation and outdoor amusement. Water slides would be considered a recreational use and fits within zoning, much like LocoLanding fits into the same zoning on Okanagan Lake. When LocoLanding was established, public assent wasn’t required. The City has worked to exceed legislative requirements for public notification and consultation.

Has the City heard any positive comments from residents?

The City has received many comments from citizens from a variety of channels, not just during the public meeting. Some of the feedback heard on social media, for example, included:

  • Awesome!! Finally something to attract people to the Skaha side of Penticton
  • This is great!! Penticton needs this!!
  • Looks good !!! Make it happen !!!
  • This is such an awesome idea we need to bring back the tourism to Penticton and have the residents not want to leave as there is never a lot to do here anymore
  • YES!!!!! We desperately NEED to have SOMETHING on that end of town!!! This is EXCITING!!

The City of Penticton is listening to its residents and cares about what they think of the project. This is why we have placed all the agreements on the City’s website, and adjustments to address people’s concerns will be included as much as possible.

Where can I find out more information?

Site plans, presentation materials, the Council report and full agreement are available on the Skaha Lake webpage. Also, you are welcome to visit the Trio Marine Group's website for Skaha Marina.