Complex decision draws near

Agricultural Land Commission expected to come to a decision next week on using Okanagan College land for a sports complex

The fate of a proposed sports complex is on the verge of being revealed.

The Agricultural Land Commission is considering an application for non-farm use so 10 acres next to Okanagan College can be used for a $7.8 million running track and sports field.

“They have given us an indication that next week we will get some news,” said Jane Lister, campus dean.

“Hopefully they will come through.”

College and Regional District of North Okanagan officials made a presentation to the ALC Oct. 25, and they have been anticipating a decision since then.

“When we went down and had a meeting with the ALC, their faces were beaming,” said Herman Halvorson, RDNO chairperson.

“We weren’t beating them up and we were presenting facts.”

Halvorson believes the ALC may be willing to approve the sports complex because of actions taken to promote agriculture such as a community garden at the college and the new regional growth strategy.

“In my own mind, it will be positive,” he said of the expected ALC response.

Director Patrick Nicol isn’t surprised that it’s taken the commission time to make a decision.

“The ALC listened to us very carefully,” he said.

“They are being very thoughtful about their position. They are appreciative that it’s been a collaborative effort (region and college).”

Last spring, the ALC shot down an application for the sports complex because it considers the 10 acres to be suitable for farming. It also stated that the need for a facility was not clearly demonstrated.