Complex alternatives offered
The Greater Vernon Services Committee is being accused of ignoring other locations for a sports complex.
The Coldstream Ratepayers Association claims GVSC is so focused on a sports complex on Aberdeen Road that two other potentially viable sites aren’t being explored.
“If we can find these things, why can’t the people with six-figure salaries find them?” said Andy Danyliu, association president, of GVSC staff.
Danyliu says a 78-acre parcel just south of the Greater Vernon landfill on Highway 97 would be ideal for sports fields because of its view of Kalamalka Lake.
“It opens up the vistas to the tourism industry,” he said, adding there would be opportunities for hiking trails which appeal to many residents.
He also believes major sports events could also be held there without disrupting existing neighbourhoods.
“The only ones they would disturb are the coyotes and the cattle,” said Danyliu.
Half of the Highway 97 site is in the Agricultural Land Reserve while the remainder is out. Danyliu describes that portion in the ALR as being marginal farm land.
The owner of the property, who asked not to be named, confirms he has talked to GVSC.
The price tag is $1.8 million, but the owner says he would deduct part of the cost for levelling the grade.
“We would sell it to the regional district for $1.3 million,” he said of the property which has been on the market for a year.
Beyond this site, Danyliu is urging GVSC to look at land along Old Kamloops Road that could be incorporated into Kin Race Track.
He says such a plan would breathe new life into the race track and benefit nearby motels, hotels and shops.
Danyliu’s group opposes turning the 118 acres on Aberdeen Road into a sports complex, but if that site proceeds, he insists it should be restricted to just playing fields.
“I challenge them to put a covenant on the land so no permanent building can be put on it for 20 years,” he said of the need to preserve the agricultural integrity of that land.
Gary Corner, GVSC chairman, denies Danyliu’s claims.
“We’ve been looking for sites for years. We have looked at options,” he said.
According to Corner, the Highway 97 site near the landfill is too steep.
“Staff looked at the property and determined about 50 acres is only useable,” he said.
He added that GVSC’s attempts to purchase land north of Kin Race Track have been unsuccessful in the past and it is too expensive because of the potential for commercial development there.
Corner, who is Coldstream’s mayor, stands behind the Aberdeen Road property.,
“This isn’t about a big stadium. This would be similar to what’s in Polson Park but with soccer fields,” he said.
A referendum will be held Dec. 15, asking Coldstream residents if they support council submitting an application to the Agricultural Land Commission for non-farm use at 9325 Aberdeen Road, for the purpose of a park/sports field.