File photo A map provided to the District of Sicamous by Bounce the Shu shows two proposed locations for a waterpark, both adjacent to Sicamous Sands.

Sunnybrae, Canoe and Sicamous in contention for waterpark

If a proposed waterpark can't find a home in Sicamous, other options may be available in Sunnybrae and Canoe.

If a proposed waterpark can’t find a home in Sicamous, other options may be available in Sunnybrae and Canoe.

This was Mayor Terry Rysz’s message to District of Sicamous council after receiving a letter from residents who are opposed to two of the proposed park locations.

“This was brought forward to the Shuswap Tourism Committee meeting in Salmon Arm here last week and they’re looking at another location in Sunnybrae, they’re also looking at a location in Canoe, and there’s strong support for both of those locations,” said Rysz. “And I think… we’re going to have to make a move on this if we’re going to anticipate having this water park here.

“I know it’s not going to be popular with everyone but every decision we make seems to be that way. So there is other interest. I just want council to know this – if we don’t take it on, it’s certainly going to end up someplace else in a hurry.”

The letter was submitted by residents of Sicamous Sands, who are opposed to the floating commercial operation proposed by Bounce The Shu’s Tyler Bartley being set up near their waterfront properties.

Sicamous Sands Resort Society president Janice Rempel states in her Aug. 18 letter that the applicant did not approach Sicamous Sands owners prior to making his Aug. 9 presentation to council. During that presentation, council applauded the concept, though it was suggested Sicamous Sands residents would have to be onboard with the project for it to float.

“It is unfortunate that the applicant hasn’t invested time and energy without consultation of the upland owners,” says Rempel, adding they learned about the project through the newspaper.

“We appreciate the district’s stated position to ensure that this proposed water park cannot proceed without the permission of upland owners, Sicamous Sands. Please be assured that we will not support this initiative.”

Rempel goes on to list the negative impacts the proposed park would have on Sicamous Sands residents quality of life.

“As Sicamous residents, we enjoy a quiet and safe environment. The amount of people, traffic, noise, discarded trash, vandalism, etc. will increase on the waterfront. We firmly believe there would be a substantial decrease of our property values,” says Rempel, adding how one of the proposed locations would have a “significant impact on wildlife habitat, including many species of birds…”

As of the Sept. 13 Sicamous council meeting, at which Rempel’s letter was received, council had no new information regarding where the water park might be located, though meetings were planned for later in the week.

Bartley has also expressed interest in Sicamous’ public swim area as an alternative location for a waterpark. He also confirmed he has been in discussion with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District about establishing what could be a second water park elsewhere on Shuswap Lake.

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