December 03, 2014 - 8:29 AM
KAMLOOPS - The weather is cold outside but the city is looking ahead to warmer weather as staff continue to plan for the future of the Tournament Capital Ranch property — a future that could include a water park, exhibition centre, nature trail and picnic area in addition to agricultural uses.
The nature trail and exhibition centre were part of an application to the province in 2007. It was not approved at the time because of a lack of information, but with more details on those projects and the water park at hand, staff hope to get approval from the Agricultural Land Commission.
The city recent held public feedback sessions, which included an online survey, three different information booth set ups and public open houses, to gauge what people would like to see at the property.
RV parkings and camping, convention facilities, activity space for agriculture related events, concerts and festivals, gardening, livestock and recreation were suggested as good additions to the most popular idea; a multi-purpose exhibition centre.
The property already includes slow pitch and rugby fields and last year the city completed environmental remediation on the former military base. The only portion that would still need remediation to be used for agriculture is the part the city is hoping to use for the water park.
Only 12 per cent of respondents were opposed to the idea of a destination water park. Most people liked that it could help tourism, employment and economic development for Kamloops.
Mayor Peter Milobar considers the water park a win-win for the community. It would offer another recreational opportunity to the community and would offer summer employment for students.
In order to consider that, an exclusion application has be approved by the commission. If approved the property may require a rezoning application, which would go to a public hearing. Commission decisions often take at least several months.
Other suggestions included a petting zoo, soccer fields, a golf course, amusement park, bungee tower, disc golf course, hockey rink and restaurants.
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Image Credit: City of Kamloops
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