Houseboat owners running out of options in Okanagan - Video

Published online: Aug 17, 2010 News
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In West Kelowna, B.C., houseboat owners are reluctantly preparing to move on, as the municipality joins the growing list of Okanagan communities giving the floating homes the heave-ho.

Like Kelowna before it, West Kelowna has secured a licence of occupation from the province.

With that licence comes the legal right to give houseboats the boot -- some locals don't like the way the boats look, and there are worries about what happens with the sewage.

The owners hired a lawyer, but most have conceded defeat.

"We feel that they probably have the legal right to dictate terms within it, so we're going to comply," owner Dave Munter told CTV News.

Most of the houseboats are expected to be gone by Monday. For those that remain, the municipality plans to seek a court injunction allowing them to remove the boats and send owners the bill.

But even the council that is evicting them admits that houseboats could simply become another community's problem.

"Yes, it does move the problem. It does not solve the overall problem, which is moorage," Coun. Bryden Winsby said.

"We haven't communicated with other municipalities directly to find out what they may or may not do."

Owners on Okanagan Lake are running out of options.

"The whole lake is going to be like that. Penticton has kicked everybody out, Vernon, Peachland. Everybody's doing it. They want houseboats off this lake," houseboat owner Ernie Gabbs said.

He says he'll moor off some private property he's been given access to. Others, like Dave Munter are keeping their plans to themselves.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Kent Molgat

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