Plans for an open air music venue are hitting a sour note with some Coldstream residents.
A group of residents living at the north end of Kalamalka Lake have written to Okanagan College protesting a proposed 5,500-seat amphitheatre in a ravine next to Okanagan College’s Vernon campus.
“The Dec. 14 open house on the proposed amphitheatre highlighted there would be a negative impact upon the peace, tranquility and lifestyle of all residential areas within the north end of Kal Lake,” states a letter from the residents to the college.
“The small group sponsoring the amphitheatre is choosing to discount this. Clearly there are other sites or under-used facilities within the Vernon or Okanagan corridor that would be better suited, less impacting and more cost effective.”
In the letter, the residents state that Okanagan College has been a good neighbour and they expect this to continue.
“With this in mind, we ask OC not to permit or to support activities that introduce such long-term adverse affects into our pristine area,” they state.
When contacted, resident Jackie George said noise is the primary issue and neighbours will meet in January to discuss their next step.
“There are people concerned about what is happening.”
Okanagan College officials state they are only giving the Okanagan Summer Festival Society an opportunity to explore the site as a potential venue and funding options.
“We’ve not signed any lease agreement,” said Allan Coyle, OC’s director of public affairs.
“We would anticipate the neighbours would have concerns and we expect the society to address the concerns where it can.”
The Okanagan Summer Festival Society insists noise has been part of all planning.
“The architect has recommended placing the facility down into the coulee to minimize the earth disturbance and to contain the sound,” said Diane Bond, society managing director.
“The sound will be directed into the side of the hill. There should not be a lot of overflow.”
Bond says sound tests could be conducted this summer.
“Until the experts have done that and told us their recommendations, we’re not sure what we’d be able to do with that issue,” she said, adding that the open house was held early to consult with residents.
“Our commitment is to deal with these issues.”