Gymnastics process proceeds

A BX gymnastics facility has overcome another hurdle.

On Wednesday, the Regional District of North Okanagan gave second reading to a bylaw that would legalize the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics Society’s activities on East Vernon Road.

“They still have deficiencies they have to complete but this is the first step on this,” said director Mike Macnabb.

“The immediate safety issue, which led to notice on title, have been addressed.”

Recently, the Agricultural Land Commission approved the society’s application for non-farm use.

“We were waiting on the ALC approval and that’s happened,” said Bob Fleming, RDNO chairperson, of the bylaw proceeding.

The next step now will be a public hearing where residents can provide input on the proposed zoning change to permit the gymnasium.

Club owner Camille Martens purchased the property in 2009, and she insists she consulted with RDNO about possible uses. She also says that inspections were conducted by the regional district to ensure the existing building met the standards needed for a gym.

However, in spring 2015, RDNO received a health and safety complaint about the 3,000-square-foot facility.

RDNO has previously stated that the building was constructed for farm use and not assembly purposes. At one point, a do not occupy order was issued.

Fleming said Wednesday that both sides have been working together.

“Staff has had communication with the applicant,” he said.