Vernon resurrects controversial western bypass

Proposed new highway route added to 25-year master transportation plan

A contentious traffic bypass is back on the books in Vernon.

In a 4-3 vote Monday, city council voted to add the western bypass to the 25-year master transportation plan.

“There should be some language about the protection of a western corridor,” said Coun. Brian Quring.

The western bypass extends from Mission Hill through Okanagan Landing to Swan Lake and would replace 32nd Street as the main highway route in Vernon. A previous council scrapped the concept in 2008 after significant public opposition.

On Monday, city staff called for a bypass to be referenced in the transportation plan but it wasn’t site specific.

“Simply referencing it is almost throwing it away if we don’t have some details. My intent is to make it more specific,” said Coun. Scott Anderson of identifying the western bypass.

Opposition came from Mayor Akbal Mund and Councillors Catherine Lord and Juliette Cunningham.

“That (designation) will start affecting all development from now on,” said Lord of the potential implication for private property along the corridor.

Look for more in Wednesday’s Morning Star.