A revamp of the Milligan Road boat access at Kemp Lake is making waves with residents concerned water quality and privacy could get compromised.
The proposal, presented at a recent Capital Regional District open house, calls for the implementation of a fishing dock, picnic area, and reworked boat access ramp.
John Brohman, who has lived next to the Milligan Road boat launch for nearly 50 years, was surprised when he found out about the proposal, adding if the project goes forward, it will affect his property boundary and access.
“My concern right now is with the [Transportation Ministry] for my own driveway. Am I going to be able to use it, or lose it, or what?” Brohman asked.
“For me, to see the CRD restrict access to picnic areas or whatever is odd. They should leave it open to access, it’s what it was designed for.”
But there won’t be any restrictions to access, said Wally Vowles, interim chair of the Juan de Fuca Parks Commission, noting the idea is to improve public access, not halt it.
“It’s a copy of what we did at Poirier Lake. We put a little fishing dock in, built a little parking area, the idea to take the kids down and cast off the dock,” he said.
Spearheading the project is the B.C. Freshwater Fisheries Society, which offers to pay for the docks, maintain them, replace them down the road, and stock the lake with fish.
The society is an organization that takes the revenue from sport fishing and invests it into the infrastructure of freshwater lakes.
Vowles pointed out the biggest concern among residents remains the quality of the water in Kemp Lake, as it is a drinking water source, and that increased use could affect the drinking water quality.
If that’s a big issue though, then the CRD takes the picnic area out of the equation.
“The public can come and weigh in on it, it’s not a done deal. If there’s a genuine threat to the water safety, we’re not going to do it, simple as that,” Vowles said, adding the Kemp Lake Waterworks District didn’t express any concern over the project.
A plan is also in motion with the Transportation Ministry to allow the CRD to widen the right of way in the area so vehicles can angle park during high volume times.