Plans to rezone property near Vernon’s heronry at tbe north end of 20th Street is drawing opposition from those wanting to protect the bird sanctuary. (Black Press - file)

Plans to rezone property near Vernon’s heronry at tbe north end of 20th Street is drawing opposition from those wanting to protect the bird sanctuary. (Black Press - file)

Vernon rezoning application near heronry draws interest

Friends of Animals Vernon helping Vernon Heronry Protection Society with opposition to application

Developers looking to change zoning near Vernon’s beloved heronry can expect opposition to the project.

A public hearing on an application to rezone property at the northern end of 2oth Street from A3-rural small holdings to RH1-Low-Rise Apartment Residential is slated for 5:30 p.m. Monday at Vernon City Hall. It’s believed as many as 41 units could be built on the site if the city approves the application.

A group calling itself Friends of Animals Vernon said Sunday they are assisting Rita Bos, senior director of the Vernon Heronry Protection Society. Bos and her late husband Jan have spent years advocating for the protection of a tiny piece of land where blue herons nest.

“There is currently an application…to build apartments in a Blue Heron nesting area,” said Shasta Daisy of Friends of Animals Vernon on the group’s Facebook page. “The area is a protected bird sanctuary where other wildlife, including deer, also rest within the city.”

READ MORE: Book highlights Great Blue Heron presence in Vernon

According to the Vernon Heronry Protection Society, a registered restrictive covenant was agreed upon by the Regional District of the North Okanagan signed by RDNO and Jan Bos in July of 1992.

Said Rita Bos in a statement: “We are providing actual, fact-based information so that the City of Vernon and applicant can make rational, responsible decisions in regards to protecting the Great Blue Heron Sanctuary.”

Friends of Animals Vernon have started a petition online to protect the heronry.

The hearing is open to the public.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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