Kids to run free at B.C. re­sort

Cal­gary fam­ily wants to build mem­o­ries at Boucherie Beach in West Kelowna

Calgary Herald - Calgary Herald New Condos - - New Condos - CLAIRE YOUNG

Sun-drenched child­hood mem­o­ries of run­ning free at sum­mer cot­tages, spend­ing the whole day in bathing suits and play­ing on a sandy beach at a lake prompted a Cal­gary cou­ple to put down some cot­tage roots of their own.

“When we talked about hav­ing a place some­where, those are our best mem­o­ries grow­ing up,” says Vanessa Fleish­man. “We really want to lay some roots down and have that for our kids.”

Vanessa and hus­band Ryan have spent sum­mers at the Okana­gan for years, rent­ing con­dos with friends. One year, ev­ery­one needed more space for their chil­dren to run around, so four fam­i­lies be­gan an an­nual trip to­gether to Boucherie Beach.

The re­sort features rus­tic cab­ins around a cen­tral green space fronted with a flat, sandy beach in West Kelowna on Okana­gan Lake.

The group of friends ex­panded an­nu­ally un­til last year, when there were 10 fam­i­lies with 15 chil­dren un­der the age of eight.

“The ap­peal to Boucherie Beach is that you can see ev­ery­thing. The cab­ins are all in a horse­shoe with a big green space in the mid­dle, on the lake,” says Vanessa.

“It’s a bit of a gem for Kelowna. Most places are con­dos with­out much space for the kids to run around.”

The fam­i­lies lived like a vil­lage, with all the par­ents watch­ing out for one an­other’s chil­dren, who all played to­gether.

The fam­i­lies even shared evening meal prepa­ra­tion so that each fam­ily only had to spend time cook­ing din­ner once or twice dur­ing their va­ca­tion.

“We felt safe there, just let­ting the kids run around,” says Vanessa.

“You don’t re­al­ize just how much kids need to run around, just run and be free, in­stead of hav­ing to wait for mommy, wait for the el­e­va­tor, or to wait for an adult to go into the pool. It was great to have that free­dom for the kids that we all prob­a­bly had when we were kids grow­ing up.”

When the Fleish­mans learned the re­sort was go­ing to be sold to be re­de­vel­oped into pri­vately-owned cot­tages as part of a project with a sim­i­lar phi­los­o­phy to the older homes, the Fleish­mans were prac­ti­cally first in line to buy a cot­tage.

“That’s what we wanted,” says Vanessa.

“We needed some­where that wasn’t a condo-type place where we’re deal­ing with bal­conies. We wanted a place where the kids could just open the doors and be out­side — and we could see the lake and see the pool.”

The dreams and mem­o­ries cre­ated dur­ing 50 years of the fam­ily-run re­sort are what Rob Chet­ney, de­vel­oper/part­ner of Tra­solini Chet­ner Con­struc­tion and Devel­op­ment, wishes to pre­serve as he re­de­vel­ops the land. Chet­ney, who grew up in Cal­gary, be­gan go­ing to Boucherie Beach in 1977 with fam­ily friends.

“I fell in love with the place and never stopped coming since then,” he says.

“It’s just a mag­i­cal place. There’s free­dom of run­ning around and be­ing safe on this


Ryan and Vanessa Fleish­man. AGES: 40 and 39. BACK­GROUND: Ryan is a com­mer­cial real es­tate de­vel­oper and Vanessa is a former phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal rep­re­sen­ta­tive. They have two daugh­ters, Ava, 7, and Is­abel, 5. The cou­ple wanted to buy a fam­i­lyfriendly recre­ation prop­erty on the water that their chil­dren could grow up in, putting down roots and fam­ily mem­o­ries. They pur­chased a cot­tage at Boucherie Beach in West Kelowna, B.C. big huge grassy area with a lake, a beach, a boat and a dock, and a fire at night on the beach. It had ev­ery­thing ideal for sum­mer.”

The place really worked its way into Chet­ney’s imag­i­na­tion. As his ca­reer took him into devel­op­ment, the op­por­tu­nity to do some­thing with Boucherie Beach even­tu­ally be­came a re­al­ity.

“We hope to start build­ing late spring or early sum­mer this year,” he says. The de­vel­op­ers are tak­ing pre-sale reser­va­tions and will start fi­nal­iz­ing sales next month.

The 35 pri­vately-owned cot­tages will range from 1,127 to 1,900 square feet. They have three to four bed­rooms, twoand-a-half baths and an open­con­cept main floor.

Big doors will open onto cov­ered pa­tios, which will each be about 10 feet by 20 feet.

“We’re pick­ing ma­te­ri­als on the in­sides, and the out­sides, that are easy to main­tain,” says Chet­ney.

“You have a lot of traf­fic walking in and out, with grass and maybe sand still on your feet.”

Start­ing at $499,000, the av­er­age price for the new cot­tages will be in the high $500,000s and low $600,000s. They will be much more mod­ern and spa­cious than the old 22 build­ings cur­rently on the site.

The four new cot­tages clos­est to the water are a bit larger than the oth­ers.

Two of th­ese have main-floor master bed­rooms. The other two have a smaller foot­print, but have three lev­els — un­like the rest, which have two storeys.

Th­ese pre­mium cot­tages will be priced in the low to mid$900,000s.

“We de­signed (the three­storey cab­ins) to look a bit like a light­house,” says Chet­ney. “They have a big deck on the roof and they will be quite spe­cial.”

Own­ers will be able to put their cot­tages in a ren­tal pro­gram if they wish and they can also live in the re­sort year-round.

The Fleish­mans are buy­ing a three-bed­room home of about 1,200 square feet that’s in the $625,000 range.

The new Boucherie Beach will fea­ture 350 feet of sandy, low-bank beach­front on a fairly pri­vate and pro­tected bay.

The cot­tages will be laid out in a fam­ily-friendly U shape around the grassy court­yard. A cen­tre­piece of the court­yard will be a sunken play­ground.

There will also be an out­door heated pool and hot tub.

At the lake, a pri­vate dock will hold boat lifts and slips, which can be pur­chased sep­a­rately, as well as an an­chored float­ing lake raft. The beach’s fire pit will no doubt be a big draw for res­i­dents.

“That’s al­ways a big hit, even to­day,” says Chet­ney. “Watch­ing the moon rise over the moun­tains across the lake is a really unique thing to see.”

Chet­ney also plans to one day toast the re­de­vel­op­ment of Boucherie Beach with a glass of wine from or­ganic grapes that will be re-es­tab­lished at the land at the en­trance to the prop­erty, which he re­mem­bers driv­ing through ev­ery year un­til one year they were gone fol­low­ing the adop­tion of the North Amer­i­can Free Trade Agree­ment.

“Farm­ers in the Okana­gan were paid big, big dol­lars to take out their crops — their or­chards and their vine­yards — be­cause this treaty was try­ing to pro­mote im­port­ing fruit from the States. The fields have sat dor­mant since,” he says.

Keep­ing the devel­op­ment on the ba­sic foot­print of the orig­i­nal re­sort, Chet­ney saw an op­por­tu­nity to bring back the vines.

“We’ve got an agree­ment with a lo­cal or­ganic win­ery, Kalala Or­ganic Es­tate Win­ery,” he says. “They are go­ing to be plant­ing and grow­ing or­ganic grapes as part of their crops for their win­ery, so it will really bring that beauty of driv­ing down that road past all the grapes back into play.”

As the Fleish­mans put down roots of their own at the new Boucherie Beach in the years to come, they look for­ward to watch­ing their chil­dren grow and thrive from the time spent run­ning free.

“The devel­op­ment that the kids had when we were there was amaz­ing,” Vanessa says of the fam­ily’s sum­mer trips.

“We would al­ways say that the kids in the back seat that came up (to Boucherie Beach) weren’t the same two kids go­ing home. They learned so much just by be­ing free.

“They learned to swim in a lake, they learned how to do the mon­key bars, to water ski and tube, and they learned to ride their bikes there.”

Tra­solini Chet­ner Con­struc­tion and Devel­op­ment, in part­ner­ship with Ver­mont Prop­erty Group. LO­CA­TION: West Kelowna, B.C. on Okana­gan Lake. PRICE: Start­ing at $499,000. The av­er­age price is in high $500,000s and low $600,000s. The strata (condo) fees are still be­ing de­ter­mined. DI­REC­TIONS: The re­sort is at 3750 West Bay Rd., West Kelowna, B.C. From High­way 97, turn east on Elk Road, right on Ridge Es­tates Drive, then left on Boucherie Road. Turn right on West Bay Road. IN­FOR­MA­TION: Visit boucherie

Visit our web­site un­der the head­ing, ‘Rec Prop­er­ties,’ for more pho­tos and sto­ries.

Gavin Young/cal­gary Her­ald

Vanessa and Ryan Fleish­man with daugh­ters Ava, 7, and Is­abel, 5, at their home in Cal­gary. The fam­ily is pur­chas­ing a cot­tage at Boucherie Beach, B.C.

Tra­solini Chet­ner Con­struc­tion and Devel­op­ment

An artist’s ren­der­ing of cot­tages at Boucherie Beach in West Kelowna, B.C., on Okana­gan Lake.

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