January 12, 2015 - 12:18 PM
PENTICTON - Residents of Okanagan Falls and Heritage Hills will have an opportunity to have their say about two park proposals for the communities at an upcoming meeting.
The meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 13 at the Seniors Centre in Okanagan Falls, starting at 7 p.m. and is designed to address the possibility of a borrowing bylaw to encompass both parks projects. Tom Siddon, Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen Director for Area “D,” said if there was public support for the projects, he would take them both straight to referendum, bypassing the Alternative Approval Process.
The developer for the third and final phase of the Vintage Views subdivision at Heritage Hills has agreed to donate 2.57 acres for parkland in the development’s upper reaches. The land proposed for parkland is encumbered by a Fortis transmission line easement, in addition to containing a body of water that is also used as a storm drainage detention pond.
"The previous developer left debris and equipment on the proposed site, there is assessment work and possible contamination that needs to be dealt with,” Siddon said, noting the proposal had "a ways to go” before regional district acceptance.
Siddon said the regional district can’t enter into an agreement with the donation plan without satisfying a number of requirements first.
“If we are going to create a park in Heritage Hills we will be developing it hand in hand with the residents,” he said.
Siddon said the regional district had also put an offer in on a property located on the Okanagan Falls waterfront near the public boat launch. The offer has been accepted subject to financing, but also needs public consent to proceed because of the cost involved.
"The acquisition of the Lamb property, the last available privately-owned property on the Okanagan Falls shoreline, would allow the regional district to complete the Heritage Walk from Lions Park to Main Street, as was envisioned in the Park development concept plan,” said Siddon. He estimated $750,000 would have to be financed by taxpayers in the Okanagan Falls Parks and Recreation service area, to complete both projects. If amortized over a 20 year period, the cost to each registered property owner would be approximately $25 to $40 per year.
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