Vernon Search and Rescue are closer to setting up a new shop after outgrowing its current home next door to the Regional District of North Okanagan office in Coldstream.
A 9.1-acre property on Silver Star Road has been amended to add the words “emergency and protective services” as a primary use following a public hearing July 20, 2020.
The City of Vernon gave first and second reading to a zoning text amendment during a special meeting of council June 29 and there was no public objections heard at the public hearing at the Vernon Recreation Centre Auditorium.
VSAR began the process of looking for a new home in December 2017. Following a successful alternative approval process in 2018, the RDNO passed bylaws to borrow up to $3.5 million for land and facility.
Search and Rescue identified a vacant, east-side portion of the Tekmar Control System Ltd. property at 5100 Silver Star Road as a site viable for a new location.
“The total size of the property is 9.1 acres,” city economic development planner Roy Nuriel said in a report to council. “Currently, Tekmar is using only a portion of the site, the remaining land is reserved for future Tekmar expansions.VSAR is acquiring 2.14 acres from the remaining property, and a subdivision of the subject property would be required.”
VSAR’s current location poses many constraints for the organization, including insufficient storage for emergency equipment and vehicles, limited space for administration and volunteers and almost no available on-site indoor and outdoor training space.
The rescue group has looked at several potential sites with one of the primary considerations being its location adjacent to a major traffic route to reduce response time in case of an emergency call.
Vernon Search and Rescue has been in operation since 1960. They have approximately 65 volunteer members that are on-call 24 hours a day.