Parking loss concern with lake plan

Quentin Smith
Quentin Smith
Not everyone is on board with the idea of redeveloping Wanaka's lakefront.

Residents at the Wanaka Community Board's public forum at its Thursday meeting raised their concerns about car parking possibly being removed from the lakefront through the implementation of stage two of the Wanaka Lakefront Development Plan.

One resident, Deane Fluit, told the board he was against stage two's 2016 concept plan, which suggested the removal of all lakefront parking, to be replaced by a garden, walkways and cycleways.

"By what you're doing, you're effectively trying to shut it off from the community.

"We've always been able to drive up to that beach, take our mother, throw in a blanket, enjoy the barbecue and waterski right along that lakefront, as have most of the people from Wanaka.

"Back in 2000 [in the Wanaka 2020 community plan] that's what we wanted to protect.

"We wanted in 100 years time for our kids' kids to be able to drive up to that lakefront, chuck down a blanket, go waterskiing off the beach and enjoy it.

"That's what Wanaka is about. It's not about putting in a nice garden or nice walking path along the lakefront. It's for us to go and use that lakefront as we have for years gone by."

Fellow resident and former councillor Neville Harris was also concerned about the removal of lakefront parking and pedestrianisation.

"There is no thought whatsoever to cater for the ageing residents to enter the main shopping area. They certainly will not be riding bikes or walking.

"This group of residents are a large part of the community's economic survival, who spend up largely on property and local spending. Don't underestimate them.

"Council and community board members should not lose sight of the fact that all the natural landscapes and attractions [are] the main reasons Wanaka is so popular with visitors. Don't kill it."

Community board chairman Quentin Smith encouraged both men to get involved in the Wanaka master plan process this year, which would address permanent parking options, among other things.

A report with a detailed design for stage two of the lakefront development plan is set to be tabled at the community board's April 4 meeting, after being delayed to allow for more time to look at resolving parking issues and accommodating the millennium path.

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