Giving away city parkland to private interest

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Drip_Torch
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by Drip_Torch »

As things sit today, we have a run down marina and boathouse at Skaha ... and a fair bit of concrete in place. 89K per year in lease payments (plus taxes) is far more than the zero dollars that land brings in right now.


I see something similar, except I see that there were two agreements put in place, last year, that brought in $33,000 as licencing fees. A sub-licence on the 2.59 acres of "floating marine improvements" valued at $516,500, by the assessment authority, and a non-exclusive use agreement on the other roughly 0.8 acres that the rest of the building and the parking lot sit on.

I don't mind if some company makes money, the more the better, and I have a soft spot for waterslides (they're fun and they employ the youth), but I'm growing concerned with the dialogue around this.

I asked how much public space is trio enjoying the benefit of, and no-one seems to be volunteering an answer. I looked at the city's site on the project and nothing seems to be too forthcoming there either. Two bits is offering 3 1/2 acres, but it looks like more to me.

2.59 acres floating marine improvements. (water lease lot - with about .3 acres filled in and part of the buildings on it.)
1.83 acres City Marina Lease Area
3.35 acres City Waterpark Lease Area
0.55 acres City Marina Option Area

That's a total of 8.32 acres of public space - For the sake of argument 6 acres of which is on land, and in the park, but some of that is currently utilized as parking - roughly 2.2 acres.

As I understand it, (first read, not a numbers person by nature) the city marina lease area, the waterpark lease area and the option area, make up the lease payments of $89,000 that people are talking about, and the floating improvements (2.59 acres) are hereafter covered under a different sub agreement that goes to the province, not the city. (15,000)

And that's what I see, until I flip the maps offered by the city 90 degrees clockwise, and then I see an archway that leads to a rather large parking lot. 125 Elm Ave is currently assessed at $3,253,600 and covers 5.86 acres.

So, as I see it, Trio's commercial endeavours will benefit from 14.18 acres of public space - and I realize that's not what some people will want to hear, or even be able to believe, but I'm pretty sure that's darn close to a fact. (and I'm open to corrections)
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twobits
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by twobits »

My 3.5 acre estimate was for new lands required over and above the Current Marina footprint. I was not even considering the floating improvements.
I do like your analysis however. It just IMO strengthens the the argument that Trio is getting these lands for far below market value.
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glassmaster
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by glassmaster »

1. Area of land being leased to the Trio Marine Group under the Skaha Marina - Waterpark 13,522 m2, Annual Rent $56,792, Annual Taxes $42,171

2. In addition there is also a stepped Gross Revenue sharing formula commencing in 2020 for the Marina and the Waterpark. The more Trio makes the more the City receives.

3. Area of Green Space (excludes asphalt, pathways and playgrounds and asphalt) that is zoned Park in Skaha Park - 107,888 m2

4. Area of Green Space (excludes asphalt, pathways and playgrounds and asphalt) that is zoned Park covered by the two City Trio Agreements -12,292 m2

5. Area of Green Space (excludes asphalt, pathways and playgrounds and asphalt) that is zoned Park and may be covered by the Skaha Marina – Marina Development Agreement if Trio exercises their Option - 2,226 m2

6. % of Green Space used in Skaha Park by the Trio Agreement – 11% and if the Option is exercised 13%
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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What a bombshell from Litke at the rally last night! I owe the man a complete apology in thinking he was complicit in this whole plan and deal with Trio. I did start to wonder about that when Vas showed up as against as he was also there when the Yamaha lease was not renewed and a one year lease was entered into with Trio.
Litke now coming out against and specifying that talks at the time were focused on an upgrade of the current Marina and inclusion of a restaurant and nothing to do with water slides, removal of trees/green space, or relocation of splash park speaks volumes. It tells me that had there been a continuation of the council that started the discussion, the business plan complete with conceptual drawings that was finally provided would have been met with a full round of "whoa, what in hades are you talking about"?
It would appear that the original plan/vision has been completely hijacked and morphed into something that was not part of the plan prior to the Nov Civic elections and is now being sold as a longstanding plan with plenty of community input.
I would like to hear public statements from Jakbike, Sentes, and Konanz, as being the people privy from the beginning, if they would have terminated the existing lease of a long term business and entered into a one yr lease with Trio if there had been any inkling that a water slide on public green space were to be part of the plan?
I seriously think these Councillors painted themselves into a corner and had no choice but to vote for such an absurd project because objecting now would only make them look stupid and incompetent in supporting the first one year lease with Trio.

So sorry for the three of you.....you still come out smelling badly as well as being incompetent. Instead of being experienced leadership to the newbies on council, you all caved to save face. And with the one vote against by Watt, this would been defeated and sent back to the drawing board for something more in line of what was originally envisioned and sold to the public.
There might actually be a basis for litigation here. I was skeptical when it was first brought up but now with Litke on record saying no such plan was discussed, it changes everything.
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Drip_Torch
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by Drip_Torch »

I wondered what Mr. Litke's take on all of this was. I've been watching the western all day - saw the interview going down, but was running from the downpour. (totally forgot Mr. Fries switched papers.)

http://www.pentictonherald.ca/news/article_191fab0c-3b1b-11e5-ab89-0b1704a0d201.html

“We could get into a big legal battle and have lawyers on both sides fighting about what does disposition mean – that will cost way more than $30,000 – or we can go to referendum and settle it,” he said.

Other former mayors in attendance Tuesday included David Perry, Jake Kimberley, plus ex-councillor John Vassilaki, all of whom have made public their opposition to plans for the park.


Couldn't agree more with the former mayors - this needs to go to referendum and frankly, I like Mr. Kimberly's suggestion.



(Hmm, wonder if the reel peach film festival will accept a late entry into the "Okanagan experience" category?)
Drip Torch - an upright and steadfast keeper of the flame, but when tilted sideways the contents spill and then our destiny is in the wind...
XT225
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by XT225 »

Interestingly how the hotel proposal next to the Convention Centre was just turned down by council. Who knows exactly why; perhaps they KNEW they would have to go to Referendum (as Jake K. said in that video) and it would fail anyways; making council look stupid. Plus I would bet that they did NOT want to add on any other questions to that referendum (ie: Skaha Park, BMX) as they just want to ram those through as well. Its not too late for council to do the right thing and get more input; wait for proper financing from Trio to be "assured" and if necessary, go to Referendum. I believe that the taxpayers would NOT balk at the cost of such, considering whats at stake here. ETA - the mayor now says they will work with other properties in the private sector for such a hotel complex. Uh...duh? Gee...thats what they should've pushed for in the first place.
twobits
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by twobits »

XT225 wrote:Interestingly how the hotel proposal next to the Convention Centre was just turned down by council. Who knows exactly why; perhaps they KNEW they would have to go to Referendum (as Jake K. said in that video) and it would fail anyways; making council look stupid. Plus I would bet that they did NOT want to add on any other questions to that referendum (ie: Skaha Park, BMX) as they just want to ram those through as well. Its not too late for council to do the right thing and get more input; wait for proper financing from Trio to be "assured" and if necessary, go to Referendum. I believe that the taxpayers would NOT balk at the cost of such, considering whats at stake here. ETA - the mayor now says they will work with other properties in the private sector for such a hotel complex. Uh...duh? Gee...thats what they should've pushed for in the first place.


And further to that XT, is the cited reason. And only at the end of the council meeting during question period!!

"The objective “was to provide more value to our community, and if it did, it would make sense to move forward," Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said during question period. "Whatever is proposed, there has to be some value that's coming back to the community both financially and utilization-wise. Unfortunately, the expressions of interest didn't hit the targets we were hoping for."

It didn't hit the targets we were hoping for. What targets Jakbike?? Us mushrooms in the dark out here might have liked to know what level you considered as acceptable before you even tossed out an expression of interest. It's all a secret though. Just like the Marina project. Sell the public on a plan that rational voters can accept and then backdoor a water slide on public green space. Then claim adequate public consultation and state "I will be signing the lease in the next couple of days anyway."
I have called Penticton home since 1976 and in all of those years I have never seen such an example of complete incompetence in leadership and council. My only hope at this point is that a smart lawyer well acquainted in the Municipal Act, will find a way to challenge this transfer of Public Parkland to commercial interests.
If such a challenge comes to fruition, I will be there with a cheque book and very generous contribution.
Hopefully such an action would also result in a resignation and his return to the used record, CD, and tee shirt business. A business more in line with his resume.
Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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Drip_Torch
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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My only hope at this point is that a smart lawyer well acquainted in the Municipal Act, will find a way to challenge this transfer of Public Parkland to commercial interests.


Some lawyer is going to be hitting the "easy button".

Community Charter Act:

Exchange or other disposal of park land
27 (1) This section applies to land vested in a municipality under

(a) section 29 [subdivision park land] of this Act,

(b) section 936 (5) (a) [park land in place of development cost charges] of the Local Government Act, or

(c) section 941 (14) [park land in relation to subdivision] of the Local Government Act.

(2) A council may, by bylaw adopted with the approval of the electors,

(a) dispose of all or part of the land in exchange for other land suitable for a park or public square, or

(b) dispose of the land, provided that the proceeds of the disposal are to be placed to the credit of a reserve fund under section 188 (2) (b) [park land acquisition reserve fund].

(3) Land taken in exchange by a municipality under this section is dedicated for the purpose of a park or public square and the title to it vests in the municipality.

(4) A transfer of land by a municipality under this section has effect free of any dedication to the public for the purpose of a park or a public square and section 30 (3) [removal of park dedication] does not apply.


Reservation and dedication of municipal property
30 (1) A council may, by bylaw, reserve or dedicate for a particular municipal or other public purpose real property owned by the municipality.

(2) As a restriction, a bylaw under subsection (1) that reserves or dedicates property

(a) as a park or public square, or

(b) for purposes related to heritage or heritage conservation,

may only be adopted by an affirmative vote of at least 2/3 of all the members of council.

(3) A bylaw that removes a reservation or dedication referred to in subsection (2) may only be adopted with the approval of the electors.

(4) A bylaw that removes a reservation or dedication under subsection (1), other than one referred to in subsection (2), may only be adopted after the council

(a) gives notice of its intention in accordance with section 94 [public notice], and

(b) provides an opportunity for persons who consider that they are affected by the bylaw to make representations to council.

(5) Bylaws adopted or works undertaken by a council that directly affect property reserved or dedicated under this section must be consistent with the purpose for which the property is reserved or dedicated.

(6) A reservation or dedication under this section does not commit or authorize a council to proceed with implementation of the purpose for which the property is reserved or dedicated.


Interpretation Act
[RSBC 1996] CHAPTER 238
Part 29 Expressions defined

"dispose" means to transfer by any method and includes assign, give, sell, grant, charge, convey, bequeath, devise, lease, divest, release and agree to do any of those things;


Case law - There is plenty, and again... not doing the articling work here.
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by onestop67 »

First answer, yes, I did go back to page 1 to read ALL the comments.

My take on this:

ANTI PARK

It seems as if 90% of those opposed to this deal, are people 60+ years of age.

It seems that the people that are vocally against this project, are people who probably don't even use the existing park space, but want the commercial aspect to be kept away, as to not alter/disrupt their current retirement lifestyle or neighbourhood.

NIMBY

I understand the argument that public space belongs to the public.

I disagree with their argument that public space shouldn't be improved upon with the private sector, and utilized to generate a tourist attraction, and hopefully generate more money for the local economy. This can be a win/win. Let the private sector spend the money for improvements, so the taxpayers aren't on the hook for it. Worst case scenario is the project doesn't attract any more tourists, but the City didn't waste taxpayer money towards a failing venture. Best case scenario is that it does attract more tourists. If it brings more people to town, then all businesses benefit.

I disagree with the City giving them a 30 year lease. 5 years, to prove themselves, then options to renew.


PRO PARK

I don't want to see all City/taxpayer owned parkland turned into commercial properties.

We have to be vigilant to save as much of the parklands as we can.

But,

this section at Skaha does not fit that model. It already has the current commercial buildings. Trio really isn't trying to change that much, other than upgrade it. The only big change is the waterslide section. And believe me, if Trio giving up the waterslide park will get them approval for the rest of the project, they will ditch the waterslide idea in a heartbeat.

Anyone focussing on the "proposed waterslide park", is high!
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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If there is any possibility of a legal suit against the city re the Skaha Parkland or a recall, I'm sure that folks will be glad to open their pocketbooks to pay for the lawyers fees. I, for one, will gladly contribute, as I would to help pay for a $30,000 Referendum if need be, if the city had gone ahead with one. I doubt that many on either side of the issue would have a problem tacking that bill onto taxpayers of Penticton. Too bad that our city council didn't have the gusto to go that route. There's still time. Anyone got any of those high test "Wake Up" pills?
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by onestop67 »

XT225 wrote:If there is any possibility of a legal suit against the city re the Skaha Parkland or a recall, I'm sure that folks will be glad to open their pocketbooks to pay for the lawyers fees. I, for one, will gladly contribute, as I would to help pay for a $30,000 Referendum if need be, if the city had gone ahead with one. I doubt that many on either side of the issue would have a problem tacking that bill onto taxpayers of Penticton. Too bad that our city council didn't have the gusto to go that route. There's still time. Anyone got any of those high test "Wake Up" pills?



I would have no problem if the City put this to a referendum. And yes, a referendum would be paid for with our tax dollars.

City votes, one side wins. End of story.

Personally I think the retirement crowd would show up in the highest voter turnout percentage, and they would vote this down.

I would vote in favour of it going ahead, but I think my side would lose.

And while I would continue to disagree with the other side about the future of this town, I would bow graciously to the vote.

Referendum=Democracy right or wrong...
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

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XT225 wrote:If there is any possibility of a legal suit against the city re the Skaha Parkland or a recall, I'm sure that folks will be glad to open their pocketbooks to pay for the lawyers fees.

I doubt that many on either side of the issue would have a problem tacking that bill onto taxpayers of Penticton. Too bad that our city council didn't have the gusto to go that route. There's still time. Anyone got any of those high test "Wake Up" pills?


I highlighted your one sentence about what you would do, donation wise.

Now that is hilarious. The seniors, the majority opposed, have 2 priorities in their lives.

1. Find causes to fight against, because they are so narrow minded in their old age, and they are bored. They have nothing else to do, than get involved in issues that they read about in the paper, while eating their oatmeal.

2. Try to control the town as a quiet retirement place, because this is the town they live in.

Think about it...this won't even affect them in the next 5 years, because they will all have died of old age.

I'm not trying to be crass about the seniors, but honestly, who do these decisions really affect? Yup, our kids. The ones that will hopefully still be here in the NEXT 30 years.

We live in such a time of selfishness. People always think that everything going on is about "them".

If the City had called a referendum, I would have totally agreed. Add it to my next years property tax bill.

Now that they didn't, no, I would not pay a lawyer to challenge them. That obviously won't happen, and is just an absurd comment.
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by XT225 »

onestop67 wrote:
Now that they didn't, no, I would not pay a lawyer to challenge them. That obviously won't happen, and is just an absurd comment.


Don't be too sure that it won't happen. The NO side is very powerful...and by the way, most of them are NOT against water slides; they just don't want to lose the park space. I am NOT a senior by the way but I DO use that section of the park often and do not want to see it lost to a water slide. The noise alone will be hard to stomach in such a serene location. Put it on PIB lands that are currently available are far more suitable for such a venue.
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by pentona »

Bring on the Referendum and/or pass the hat for Lawyers fees to fight the city. Let Democracy rule!
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Re: Giving away city parkland to private interest

Post by ToddT »

onestop67 you seem to have it in your head that because a group of seniors is spearheading the campaign to prevent the city from giving away our greenspace, that it is all seniors in this town that are against young people.

That's ignorant.

I'm against the project and the plan, I'm 32, and my kids would use waterslides lots. What's funny, is that it's for my kids that I want them to save the park space. Not enough value is put on this type of land. Once you give it away, it is gone, forever.

You also mention that you are against the 30 year lease and that it should be a 5 year "trial and error" approach. That to me speaks volumes about the people's faith in this company, or moreover, the viability of waterslides in general. Why would we tear up and destroy park land and lease it to a private investor that we aren't confident can run the property for more than 5 years?

Build a marina - check
Build a restaurant - check
Destroy valuable park land and a budding ecosystem - I don't think so.

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