Crown Island land owner Tim Kwasnicki has been trying to get a parking lot on the mainland in Lac La Hache since 1985. (Photo submitted)

CRD directors deny mainland parking for Lac La Hache island lot-owners in close vote

Land owners on Crown Royal and Emerald Islands will have to find another place to park their cars

Landowners on Crown Royal and Emerald Islands in Lac La Hache will have to find another place to park their cars and boat trailers overnight next summer.

In a narrow 9-7 vote, the Cariboo Regional District on Friday denied a request by the Crown Royal and Emerald Islands Society to improve the existing public access, located off Highway 97 on the former Lazy R Ranch, to provide overnight parking for island landowners. Despite a public petition in support of the project – and plans by the society to pay $12,000 for the upgrade, CRD directors argued it wasn’t their problem.

“The provincial government screwed up, now the provincial government wants the regional government to fix it,” 100 Mile Mayor Mitch Campsall said. “It’s another form of downloading. We should be petitioning the province to look after their mess.”

READ MORE: EnGold discovers visible gold at two Lac la Hache sites

The situation stems from the late 1960s when the islands’ developer failed to adhere to the province’s stipulation to put in offshore parking to accommodate the 18 lots on the two islands. Landowner Tim Kwaswnicki, who has had a lot on Crown Royal Island since 1985, said parking has only become an issue in the last few years as more people started building cabins on the islands.

At the moment, most landowners park at the Fircrest Lakeside RV Resort but they will lose access to that site next summer as it is becoming busier and can no longer accommodate them, he said.

“We don’t have a next step,” he said. “In our mind, we’d like to see that site developed for everybody with a boat launch and improvements.”

Al Richmond, director for Lac La Hache-108 Mile Ranch, was one of the few directors in favour of the parking plan, noting the landowners had gone through a lengthy process and the petition met the threshold set by the provincial government. However, other directors raised concerns about the process, which is different from a referendum in that those in favour of a proposal are asked to register their support and those opposed do nothing. In this case, 50 percent of individual landowners were in favour of the project along with 60 percent of assessed value in approval – meeting the provincial threshold.

However, a woman who owns seven lots argued her neighbours were opposed to the plan, arguing it could turn the public access into a gated boat launch. Under the petition, her assessed value rated lower than the others’ because most of her property is bare land; however, in a referendum, she would have only had one vote, Richmond noted.

“It’s not a boat launch. This is public property and it needs improvement so they can park on it and not get bogged down in mud,” he said. “What’s disappointing about all this is the Ministry of Transportation and Highways had made a condition upon the developer that they had to provide offshore parking and he didn’t follow through. It’s unfortunate.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

BC Supreme Court hears how Williams Lake arrest leads to addict’s recovery

“I would also like to apologize for any harm I may have done”

BC VOTES 2020: Provincial election will have familiar duo battling in Cariboo North

The two candidates who received the most votes in 2017 will both be running in Cariboo North again

Nine new COVID-19 cases announced in Interior Health region

The total number of cases since the pandemic started is now at 531 for the region

Second positive COVID-19 test reported at Quesnel Junior School

The exposure dates for this case are Sept. 15-18

Open burning prohibitions to be rescinded Sept. 30

The following activities will be allowed throughout the CFC’s jurisdiction:

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read