Parkland shot down

Greater Vernon Advisory Committee rejects Coldstream Meadows offer of parkland

Coldstream’s plans for additional parkland have been scuttled.

The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee voted  4-3 Thursday not to accept 0.9 hectares from  the Coldstream Meadows retirement complex for park. The District of Coldstream urged taking the land and refunding $90,938 in development fees to the business.

“I see it as another nail in the coffin of how the parks function doesn’t work,” said Jim Garlick, Coldstream director, of the board decision.

“We have land use decisions made by other jurisdictions and not the local jurisdiction.”

The $90,939 was paid during phase one of the Mackie Drive development in lieu of park dedication, and Regional District of North Okanagan staff recommended the board proceed with the original process to accept five per cent cash in lieu on the balance of the development on 7.36 hectares.

“Relative to all park values, it has low park values,” said administrator Trafford Hall of the 0.9 hectares.

“The District of Coldstream has many park values we struggle with but we don’t have the money for them.”

Maria Besso, a Coldstream director, objected to Hall’s description of the property.

“It’s a beautiful piece of land. There is value to it,” she said.

Garlick says the immediate area may eventually see increased density and a park will be needed.

“That area is being used by people from all over the region. They park their cars for runs and walks. It (park) would create a buffer between the existing residents and the development,” he said.

“If the development proceeds, it will get used.”

Coldstream got support from Mike Macnabb, BX-Silver Star director.

“There has to be some weight given to the jurisdiction asking for this,” he said.

“We have to listen to one of the participants because it’s important to them.”

Not accepting the land dedication were Vernon’s three representatives and Mike Gavinchuk from BX-Swan Lake.

Patrick Nicol, a Vernon director, says there is a need to look at the broad picture when it comes to Greater Vernon parks and recreation.

“The money from all citizens got us where we are,” he said.

“We do have disagreements but overall, we have purchased a lot of things.”

Vernon director Jack Gilroy says there are other neighbourhoods that require open space.

“It (Mackie Drive) doesn’t fit into our priorities for parks. We need money for parks,” he said.

Based on GVAC’s decision, Garlick says Coldstream will have to consider its options, including possibly purchasing the 0.9 hectares itself.

“We have to look at our resources to move ahead on this,” he said.

Jack Borden, Coldstream Meadows owner, would not speculate  on how GVAC’s decision may impact his plans.

“I really don’t have a comment until I get information on what happened,” he said.