Regarding the Kalamalka amphitheatre project, the planners have considered a lot of details but appear to have left out the neighbourhood that will be directly impacted if this project continues.
It’s hard to imagine why the choice was made to shoehorn a 5,000-seat venue into a well established neighbourhood when the Okanagan has no shortage of much more suitable locations. I wonder how many of the society members behind this project are Coldstream residents? None I’m guessing.
I am not opposed to development. I supported the large track and field complex at Okanagan College because the location made sense and had limited impact on the immediate area, other than some bright lights and parking issues created by those that use the park and ride rather than the college parking lot.
Sound is minimal as it is located away from the homes in the immediate area, with the college in between. I also support the rail trail, as it will again have little local impact, although the lack of parking for users may be problematic. I also understand that I live by a lake and that I will hear boats and loud stereos on them all summer.
The proposed amphitheatre is another story.
Plainly, the location is a bad one.
Situating it in a environmentally sensitive, drainage area, which is one of the few remaining pieces of natural grasslands at the north end of Kalamalka Lake and home to local wildlife, is a poor choice.
Parking at the college is limited to 450 spaces and users will compete with students and the track and field complex for them.
The solution to have 4,000 to 4,500 people park at the DND lands and get shuttled across four lanes of Highway 97 smacks of desperation.
As far as acoustics, here is all you need to know. I live on Hofer Drive, about 250 metres below Kickwillie Loop, and I can clearly make out conversations from people walking on the Loop.
The proposed amphitheatre is about 150 metres on the other side. The acoustics of this part of Coldstream are well-known to local residents. Sound travels down to the lake and gets amplified. You don’t need a study to prove that.
Do I have any faith in the testing that the organizers propose? No.
They don’t want this to fail no matter what the impact it has locally. They have too much invested in this to see it stopped.
They should consider the environmental, parking and noise impacts and find a more suitable site.
Build this amphitheatre where it is planned and it will destroy a neighbourhood. That’s some legacy.