The City of Vernon will undertake a planning process to develop a park on the site of the former Vernon Civic Arena. (Morning Star - file photo)

City of Vernon to develop Civic Arena site into park

Planning process approved by council; construction to start in 2020 or 2021

The City of Vernon will be getting a new park near downtown, and it could possibly house a temporary skating rink before a park is built.

Council voted unanimously to approve a planning process for the development of a new park at the former Vernon Civic Arena site on 37th Avenue. The old arena turned 80 in January 2018 but was demolished later that year.

“The opportunity to develop a new park in the downtown core of our community is very exciting,” said Mayor Victor Cumming. “It’s rare that we get to add greenspace into a fully developed part of the city.”

READ MORE: Vernon says goodbye to historic building

The city will begin with community engagement, directed stakeholder interviews and consideration of the various needs for the site, which has been identified as a Community Park in the Parks Master Plan.

It’s about three acres in size and currently accommodates the Visitor Information Centre, parking facilities, and a sani-dump station. A new extension of 30th Street to connect 37th and 39th Avenues, including extension of the multi-use path, is planned for the east side of the site. This will occupy approximately one-third of the land space resulting in a developable area of approximately two acres.

Coun. Brian Quiring had hoped to push the planning back a year.

“There are lots of things in play right now, lot of things going on,” he said. “Maybe that site may have a higher and better use at some point. I don’t want to go too far down park planning until we’re convinced there isn’t a higher and better use because things are changing. I want to keep some options open.”

Coun. Dalvir Nahal got unanimous support for city staff to compile a report on the potential cost of installing a temporary outdoor skating rink on the site, similar to one in Kelowna’s downtown core.

“I want to see us utilize the space and put in a temporary, family friendly rink,” said Nahal.

The planning work is expected to kick off in September and wrap up in spring of 2020. Construction is anticipated in late 2020 or early 2021, following the completion of the road extension.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Vernon hospital purchases equipment with help from TB Vets

Video laryngoscope has been high on VJH priority list for lengthy period of time

Snowfall warning issued for Coquihalla Highway

Up to 25 cm of snow is expected to fall in the region by Thursday

Armstrong thrift store set for renovations

The Bargain Bin will close facility Jan. 14, but open small retail outlet in Oddfellows Hall

Santa to ride into Armstrong in style

Big man in red will ride into town on classic fire truck for annual Santa Run

Okanagan Indian Band conducting study for new school

Online survey and public sessions will help decide details of new Cultural Immersion School

‘A loud sonic boom’: Gabriola Island residents recount fatal plane crash

Area where the plane went down is primarily a residential neighbourhood, RCMP say

B.C. cities top the list for most generous in Canada on GoFundMe

Chilliwack took the number-two spot while Kamloops was at the top of the list

Two in custody after allegedly assaulting a group of nine youths

The suspects were apprehended by police near Highway 33 and McCulloch Road

South Okanagan Cycling Without Age chapter tops in North America

The Penticton chapter of Cycling with Age provides more rides than others in North America.

Kelowna man who assaulted and threatened two women sentenced

Russell McDermid was sentenced to 22 months in prison followed by three years of probation

Summerland utility rates to increase

Water rates to rise by five per cent, sewer by 3.5 per cent and electrical by 4.4 per cent

Penticton RCMP warn of new ‘porting’ scam that puts internet banking, online accounts at risk

Two-factor verification has been the go-to way to keep online accounts secure

Most Read