The Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics club is located on East Vernon Road in the BX.

The Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics club is located on East Vernon Road in the BX.

Gymnastics club may remain open

Regional district trying to find a compromise for East Vernon Road property

A gymnastics facility may not be forced to shut its doors.

Regional District of North Okanagan officials confirm they are trying to address public concerns that the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics club may not be allowed to use a building on East Vernon Road because of zoning issues.

“We will present an option for Wednesday. It won’t be the same resolution at the Electoral Area Advisory Committee,” said Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.

EAAC has recommended to the RDNO board that use of the building for a gymnasium not be legalized.

Macnabb met with RDNO staff and chairperson Bob Fleming Monday for four hours to discuss the issue and how to balance the needs of business with agriculture.

“We considered options for zoning and rezoning,” said MacNabb.

“What we have is a good compromise but we do not have the final say. Any approval must come from the Agricultural Land Commission (which oversees the Agricultural Land Reserve).”

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 stated that the building was constructed for farm use and not assembly purposes.

While Macnabb is confident the issue can be resolved, he says he’s concerned with how RDNO has been portrayed by the media and some residents.

“Some of the allegations are unfounded. The regional district didn’t lose any files. That is false, I’m not sure why it’s being repeated,” he said.

“Our staff are professionals and have high standards.”

A large crowd of gymnastics supporters is expected to be at the RDNO board office Wednesday at 4 p.m.