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City of Vernon reminded of Kinsmen Park stipulation

LETTER: Club donated the land to the city in 1963, for recreational purposes
Concept plans on what may be included in the new Kin Race Track Park will be presented to city council Monday, Jan. 24. See story on page 14. (City of Vernon graphic )

I note that the City of Vernon’s proposal for the development of the Kin Race Track site calls for an affordable housing component.

I wish to remind the city that the Vernon Kinsmen Club and the Vernon Jockey Club Limited donated Kinsmen Park to the city during the year 1963-64.

At that time, I was a Kinsmen member and was involved in the transfer process.

There was a clear stipulation in the transfer document that the property was to be used for recreational purposes, including a race track for horse racing.

Unfortunately, local horse racing succumbed to a trend in North America which resulted in many racing facilities closing. Locally, the Vernon and District Agricultural Society lease with the city and the regional district was cancelled and the cancellation was upheld in the Supreme Court of B.C. several years ago. I submit the cancellation did not detract from the city’s duty to maintain the facility for recreational purposes only! Any other use would be a betrayal of the city’s commitment to the local community.

I am aware of the fact the city purchased additional property which resulted in the Kin Park property enjoying an increased size, and that this additional land possibly is not subject to a recreational use.

Apparently the purchase funds were acquired from Development Cost Charges collected from developers.

This raises a question: Is there a legal obligation on a municipality to use DCC funds collected for a particular purpose? If the city used DCC funds to purchase the property for park (recreational) use, can it subsequently designate the property for a different use such as residential?

Brian Willows

READ MORE: Vernon council defers discussions on Kin Race Track plans

READ MORE: Indigenous Cultural Centre and park proposed in Lake Country


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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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