The Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics facility may soon have approval from the Regional District of North Okanagan. (Morning Star file photo)

Gymnastics facility inches towards resolution

RDNO has fiven third reading to a bylaw that would legalize the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics Society on East Vernon Road

Local politicians insist they want the future of a BX gymnastics facility resolved.

On Wednesday, the Regional District of North Okanagan gave third reading to a bylaw that would legalize the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics Society’s activities on East Vernon Road.

“Everyone has the same objective. We’d like to get to a finish line,” said David Sewell, RDNO chief administrative officer.

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 previously stated that the building was constructed for farm use and not assembly purposes. At one point, a do not occupy order was issued.

Martens welcomed the board’s third reading of the zoning bylaw Wednesday.

“I’m grateful. It seems like the energy is shifting and they want to come along side and help us,” she said.

Final adoption of the bylaw could occur by the end of the year if certain conditions are met. They include Interior Health’s approval of septic disposal and a covenant from the Agricultural Land Commission. A building inspection for the facility has been completed.

During a public hearing Wednesday, several people spoke in favour of Martens and the club.

“It’s a training and education facility,” said Garry Schmidt, a family friend.

“For her, this is about the love of her sport and love of her athletes and their love for her.”

Schmidt appealed for the future of the facility to be resolved because of the toll its taken on Martens, the community and the regional district.

“We want the stress of this uncertainty to melt away.”

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