EDITORIAL: RDNO must do the right thing

There’s no question that a he-said, she-said scenario has developed between the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics club and the Regional District of North Okanagan.

Club owner Camille Martens insists she went through all of the necessary steps to ensure she could use a building on East Vernon Road for a gym, while RDNO is adamant that the current zoning doesn’t permit the activity.

All of this makes it extremely challenging for the general public to know who is correct.

But confusion aside, there is one certainty and that is that the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics club is an important part of the community and it plays a critical role in the lives of many youth. It is the kind of business that we need in the region, particularly at a time when there are concerns about keeping our youth active.

Obviously RDNO is responsible for zoning and it must consider a range of issues. But it also has the authority to grant variances to allow the current use to continue in the building.

RDNO officials had to understand that there would be a substantial public backlash when it was revealed that it may not legalize the gymnasium.

Of course since the furor erupted, RDNO officials have developed some options to allow the club to remain and hopefully those compromises will be approved at today’s board meeting.

However, the public needs to be aware of one further challenge.

Even if RDNO approves zoning for the gymnasium, the use apparently must be sanctioned by the Agricultural Land Commission.

The public lobbying may not be over just yet.


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