You'll need a permit if you want a big party on Okanagan Rail Trail - InfoNews

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You'll need a permit if you want a big party on Okanagan Rail Trail

A stretch of the Okanagan Rail Trail along Kalamalka Lake.
May 31, 2019 - 12:00 PM

KELOWNA - If you're planning a big party on the Okanagan Rail Trail, you'd better have a permit on hand.

The Okangan Rail Trail Committee has drafted a new batch of guidelines, including restrictions and requirements for hosting large events in the area. The guidelines have been submitted to the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, the Okanagan Indian Band and the Regional District of North Okanagan for approval.

The proposed guidelines will require events attracting 100 people or more on the rail trail to acquire permits. Matt Vader, manager of communications and governmental affairs with the District of Lake Country, said in a report the permits are intended to keep the trail open to the public by organizing when and where events can be held. Instead of dozens of massive events popping up on the trail with little or no warning, groups will have to work with the committee to schedule their events. The guidelines are similar to how events are hosted in public parks.

Events such as marathons, which could cross jurisdictions on the trail, would need to get permit approvals from all appropriate districts. An event that ran the entirety of the trail, once its completed, would need approval from all four districts. Vader said the Rail Trail Committee could act as a communications hub for applicants.

Vader said the ideal minimum time to apply for a permit would be 90 days before the planned event.

The new guidelines also request that no permits for large scale events on the trail be handed out in July and August. Vader said these are the two busiest months for tourism in the Okanagan and the committee wants to keep the trail completely open to the public. Permits would be open in the shoulder seasons.

Vader said the committee is trying to find a balance between the trail as a public facility and a potential events space.

If approved, these guidelines will be implemented this year.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Sean Mott or call (250) 864-7494 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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