$8 million ‘Waterfront Referendum’ fails in Lake Country

Published on October 21, 2022 by David Wylie

Scenic tranquil lake landscape with trees reflecting on water. Cottage on shoreline in trees. Blue sky and clouds over mountains in spring in Lake Country.Photo: Joanne
If the referendum had been successful, waterfront property considered could could have been on Okanagan, Wood, or Kalamalka lake.

Lake Country residents voted down a plan to borrow $8 million to purchase waterfront property for community use as it comes up.

Lake Country voters were asked:

“Are you in favour of the District of Lake Country authorizing Loan Authorization (Waterfront Property) Bylaw 1187, 2022 to authorize the borrowing of up to $8,000,000 to purchase waterfront property for community use?”

The vote was close with 929 in favour and 1,063 opposed.

The ‘Waterfront Property Referendum’

At its regular meeting on Tuesday July 5, the previous council gave three readings to a Loan Authorization Bylaw for Waterfront Property Acquisition, the District of Lake Country explained in a press release prior to the election.

“In Lake Country we are surrounded by lakes and the demand for community waterfront property to enjoy recreation, greenspace and water access is continually growing,” said district communications.

In 2006, council adopted a policy to review waterfront properties that come up for sale, to determine if they are a good fit for the district to consider purchasing, said the district.

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“Having adequate financing available for when the right property hits the market is essential in today’s real-estate market,” it said.

“If the right fit comes along, the district must have the ability to acquire adequate financing to make a reasonable offer. Despite having the ability to acquire funds, Council must go through the process of considering a bylaw, getting approval of the electors, and then borrowing at one of the two borrowing opportunities available to municipalities each year, spring or fall. It’s not a quick process. Council wants to be in the position to have the ability to borrow funds for when the right waterfront property comes available.”

Photo: Contributed
The previous Lake Country District council is pictured.

The previous council noted it knew there were “many other important priorities for the community, including roads, road repairs, water, and sewer amongst others, and the decision to acquire waterfront property does not minimize these impending needs.”