The original Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail partners are standing together in support of the unified vision for the trail project as a legacy that will benefit the citizens of the entire area for generations to come.
The rail trail lands are owned by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD), Splatsin and the Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), who came together with the shared goal of a contiguous recreational and transportation corridor and an economic driver for all of the participating communities.
Recently, the District of Sicamous brought forward a proposal to take over ownership of the 1.67 km of trail that falls within its boundaries.
At its October meeting, the Rail Trail Governance Advisory Committee reaffirmed its support for the current ownership structure. While sensitive to the interests and concerns brought forward by the District of Sicamous, the present owners (with representation from all of the participating jurisdictions including Sicamous) are the most appropriate means to achieve the common purpose and to ensure equal treatment of all taxpaying citizens across the Rail Trail service area.
- Between the CSRD and the RDNO, there are 40,090 taxable properties paying towards the development of the rail trail project.
- There are concerns from owners of 22 taxable properties located within the District of Sicamous, adjacent to the rail corridor lands along the Sicamous Narrows of Mara Lake. These adjacent property owners are displeased with the format of required agreements, which will allow them to place private docks adjacent to the rail trail lands, allow them to connect to rail trail lands where necessary, and allow them to cross the publicly owned Rail Trail lands to access their private docks.
The Governance Committee believes that new Licence and Upland Consent Agreements are a fair compromise as they:
- Allow owners who do not own waterfront property to have docks in this special area – something which is not permitted on Shuswap, Mara and most other lakes in BC;
- Are based on the wording in the previous CP Rail agreements;
- Made concessions on the proposed agreements including increasing notice of termination from 30 to 90 days.
As such, the Governance Advisory Committee reaffirmed its support for upholding the agreements for the 22 Sicamous Narrows properties in their current form.