RV park still on ranch’s agenda

A proposed RV park for O’Keefe Ranch has not been abandoned.

The City of Vernon and O’Keefe Ranch will resubmit an application to the Agricultural Land Commission for an RV park to be constructed at the heritage site.

“We need to establish the campground there because it will make the ranch self-sufficient,” said Coun. Juliette Cunningham, who is a member of a task force looking at ways of handling the ranch’s ongoing financial challenges.

The ALC recently denied a request that a portion of the ranch lands be used for an RV park. It stated that the land is suitable for growing crops and a non-farm use is not acceptable.

Cunningham says that proposal emphasized the need to support the historic significance of the ranch, whereas the new application will focus on tourism.

“There are not enough RV parks in the Okanagan,” she said.

The application may also call for other lands at the ranch to be enhanced for agricultural activities.

The city created the task force in January and it was supposed to report back to council on the ranch’s future by the end of April.

However, that timeline was extended until the end of June Monday.

Coun. Barry Beardsell, who also sits on the task force, says there is a need for the group to continue working, especially after recent meetings with provincial officials.

“We can’t get an instant answer from a (cabinet) minister and we will carry on,” he said.

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