Developers told residents touring an open house for the proposed Tranquille on the Lake development Thursday that public space on Kamloops Lake remains assured.
“Residents have a natural park now,” said project partner Russ Cundari. “(But) we want to prevent people from driving on the beach.”
Both Cundari and a City planner at the open house said public access to Kamloops Lake from the west side of the city will remain in place. But a developed City park, with washrooms and a boat launch, remains several years away.
“People want access to the lake,” said Randy Lambright, head of community planning for the City of Kamloops. “They’ll get that with a City park.”
The park remains in the concept stage, like the overall development itself. Lambright said there must also be sufficient money in the City’s development cost charge fund to construct the park.
Park land is only one aspect of the complex Tranquille project, which remains several years from start up.
“People have told me it’s the most complicated project they’ve ever worked on,” said Cundari.
Interests and issues have included environmental contamination (since cleaned up); presence of tunnels; and oversight by agencies including City of Kamloops, Agricultural Land Commission, Department of Fisheries and Ocean.
There are also First Nations and heritage interests.
Margaret Graham is a member of the Kamloops Naturalists Club who attended the open house at St. Andrews on the Square and toured the property two weeks ago.
She said she was impressed at restoration, valued at several hundred thousand dollars, of the main barn at the former tuberculosis sanitarium.
“It’s hard to visualize (the 2,000-unit project) until they get started,” she said. “What concerns me is how close they are to the river and bird habitat.”
The delta where the Thompson River drains into Kamloops Lake is a rich bird habitat.
Brocklehurst residents Mike and Ann Cooke said they are impressed at plans and would like to retire at the project one day. Attributes include a focus on sustainability, natural values and trails.
With access to the Rivers Trail “you could ride to town on a bicycle,” Mike said.
“It would be terrific.”
Cundari said public interest in purchasing a home at the proposed community is high but an uncertain economy, complex planning and need for major capital investment in water, for example, mean it is realistically years away.