Spallumcheen council moved granted third reading to a proposal for a mountain adventure park at a public hearing Tuesday night, while adding to the list of requirements the applicants must follow before full adoption of the project. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Spallumcheen adventure park moves forward

Spallumcheen council moved the project forward while adding conditions, still a long track ahead

The proposal for a mountain adventure park in Spallumcheen made it through to the next stage, but not without accumulating more rules and regulations from the township’s council.

At a public hearing attended by more than 40 residents on Tuesday night, Spallumcheen council granted third reading to the proposed Wood Mountain Adventure Park on Powerhouse Road, adjacent to Eagle Rock Road, on the condition that a hydro-geological assessment be done to check the possible effects on neighbours’ water supply.

“I’m far more concerned about your water than about the stability of the washroom,” said Coun. Todd York, who made the recommendation for a hydrogeologist’s report to be conducted before adoption of the park.

Another requirement was added around hours of operation: instead of the applicant’s proposal for 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. from April to mid-October, council decided 9 p.m. was late enough. The earlier shutdown time came after nearby residents voiced concerns about noise pollution at previous hearings.

“We heard you loud and clear,” York said, referring to the public hearing on Aug. 8 that was attended by about 150 residents who weren’t shy about voicing their concerns about the project. “I think all the people on this council put ourselves in your position.”

READ MORE: Emotions run high as Spallumcheen adventure park hearing ends in no decision

READ MORE: Spallumcheen adventure park concerns

Traffic was a major safety concern among council members and neighbouring residents alike. The Ministry of Transportation and Highways said signs must be posted to direct southbound traffic to the highway intersection at the south end of Eagle Rock Road, but skepticism of that decision was voiced by council members and Eagle Rock residents.

Because the proposed site is within 800 metres of Highway 97, the zoning bylaw will have to be endorsed by the Ministry of Transportation.

Mayor Christine Fraser said council will ask the ministry to reconsider its condition to direct traffic to the south end of Eagle Rock Road, preferring traffic go through the north intersection that’s closer to the proposed site.

“We’re going to go back to (the ministry) and say that council wants it to be the north end of Eagle Rock Road and that we are not going to put up signage,” Fraser said. Doing so will lead to a traffic assessment conducted by the ministry.

It was a far more subdued crowd at the Spallumcheen council chambers, with only a few residents speaking during question period.

Jack and Patti Wood — residents on Powerhouse Road and the applicants for the park — already had a list of seven requirements council had recommended ahead of the hearing. Those requirements include hillside- and commercial-development permits, a two-metre high landscape screen around the parking lot and light fixtures that meet dark-sky standards to prevent light pollution in the area.

Plots of the Woods’ roughly 250 acres of land are also not allowed to be sold separately, according to one of the original requirements. The properties to undergo rezoning were also limited to uses related to the adventure park. The Woods contended these points and requested a separate meeting with council to discuss them further.

Phase 1 of the Woods’ proposal entails an alpine coaster ride, children’s play areas and challenge courses. Phase 2 outlines plans for a zip line, tree climb, rock climbing and hiking and biking trails, but that phase will need to be approved by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Council is still waiting for a more detailed site map of the park than the Wood family has provided.

The list of conditions that were carried at Tuesday’s hearing will have to be met before council will consider adopting the project and before any work can be done on the land.

READ MORE: Vernon seniors residence demands action on street problems from council

READ MORE: Okanagan MP candidates take note of Conservative’s Labour Day absence

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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