BX Ranch generates debate

BX Ranch generates debate

A chunk of land in the BX is generating considerable discussion.

Vernon officials take exception with recent comments from director Mike Macnabb that Vernon and Coldstream are forcing the Regional District of North Okanagan to sell 137 acres of the BX Ranch instead of keeping it for park.

“It was agreed on by everyone, Areas B and C included,” said Akbal Mund, a city director, at RDNO Wednesday.

Juliette Cunningham, a Vernon director, insists there was consensus to purchase the entire 166 acres in 2016 for $2.3 million so 36 acres could be kept as park and the remainder would be sold.

“The City of Vernon pays 65 per cent of those purchase costs and I don’t agree with how this has been brought up,” she said.

Macnabb, the BX-Silver Star director, has previously stated the process for the BX Ranch lands indicates the electoral areas are treated differently than municipalities because other land purchases haven’t been handled this way.

On Wednesday, Macnabb wouldn’t respond to comments from Mund and Cunningham but he is hopeful all of the property can be retained for park.

“We’ll talk about the next steps for the BX Ranch lands,” he said.

On Wednesday, the RDNO board rezoned the 137 acres from country residential to large holding.

“This would down-zone the property,” said Rob Smailes, adding that the zoning change is a condition of the Agricultural Land Commission.

Under the new zoning, the lot would be agricultural and residential subdivision would not be allowed unless there was a further rezoning process considered by the regional district.