Lake Country’s year in review – January 2019

A look back at the biggest stories of the year for the month of January

Lake Country continues to grow and develop

As one of B.C.’s fastest-growing municipalities, Lake Country introduced a draft plan to create a boundary to keep urban sprawl in check.

According to its Official Community Plan (OCP), new growth in purpose-built residential developments is occurring in the communities of The Lakes, Cooper Hills and Lakestone. Growth is also happening in existing town centres in Winfield, such as the Winfield Town Centre and the Woodsdale area to better accommodate new development.

“The district’s focus on industrial and commercial growth provides for the anticipation of a higher amount of square footage for these types of economic activities as well,” according to the draft OCP, which had yet to be approved by the council.

Suggestion to reduce boater wakes well received

A suggestion to reduce wakes and protect the quality of drinking water in Kalamalka and Wood Lake was well received from boaters.

During the summer of 2016, researchers conducted a study on the impact powerboat activities have on drinking water intakes and the impact created on water quality due to propeller turbulence disturbing the lake bed.

The study found power boats kick up sediment that may contain harmful bacteria and chemicals that enter drinking water intakes and contaminate the water source.

Scott Boswell, program manager with the Okanagan Collaborative Conservation Program, which coordinated the research effort, said the study recommended reduced wake generation along the shoreline and around drinking water intakes, and confining higher speed and wake-based activities to the middle of the lakes.

“I was surprised a little by the response as I thought there might be a little more push back from boaters, but we talked to about 100 people launching their boats in September, locals and tourists alike, and only about five didn’t have any interest in what we had to say,” Boswell said.

Lake Country woman tells Okanagan man’s war story

A Lake Country woman was so enthralled with a friend’s stories of survival and resilience during the Second World War she decided to write a book about his life.

The book titled The Upside of Hunger: A True Tale, is based on the real-life story of Penticton resident Adam Baumann whose journey takes him from his remote village in Hungary to try to fight as part of the German army as a teenager to his immigration to Canada.

The book was ranked no. 27 on Amazon for its kindle edition in the Second World War genre in January of 2019.

Working to address childcare needs

Central Okanagan municipalities were considering working together to apply for a $100,000 grant which would allow for them to develop a childcare planning and needs assessment.

Lake Country council had yet to consider the grant application, while Peachland, Kelowna and West Kelowna had already approved the application to the Union of BC Municipalities.

“There’s a definite need for childcare throughout the Central Okanagan,” said Melissa Hunt, executive director for the Childhood Connections Okanagan Family and Childcare Society.

“We see that in Lake Country and Peachland especially. Those communities don’t have enough childcare to support the need there for the parents who are looking fir childcare and we’ll see the families using the childcare facilities in West Kelowna and Kelowna.”

No chicken allowed

Maggie Wright, a Lake Country resident, wanted to be able to keep her daughter’s pet chickens after the District of Lake Country informed her that housing her four chickens in a residential area was breaking a bylaw.

Wright decided to take two chickens from her daughter’s elementary school classroom in May of 2019 as pets when they were given away at the end of a class project.

If Wright failed to comply she would have been given a $100 ticket.

While housing urban chickens in Lake Country is illegal, it is allowed in both Kelowna and Vernon.

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