Homeowners willing to donate property for new park in Vernon, BC: advocacy group – Okanagan

In the Okanagan’s booming real estate market, it’s rare that you hear of someone willing to donate their land.

However, an advocacy group in Vernon, British Columbia, called Friends of East Hill Parks, says that’s exactly what local landowners want to do, provided the city agrees to turn the space into a Park.

The land is currently used as a hay field and is on the corner of Pottery Road and 15th Street.

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“It has limitless potential when it comes to parks and recreation opportunities for East Hill residents,” said Rany Schellenberg, spokesperson for Friends of East Hill Parks.

Schellenberg believes the East Hill neighborhood does not currently have enough park space.

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He says the current owners of the land proposed for the park, who wish to remain anonymous at this time, purchased the land specifically to set aside it as a park.

« The owners are actually willing to donate the property provided the city comes up with a parks plan and a reasonable timeline for the park to open, » Schellenberg said.

“My message to the city council would be that you are looking at an opportunity in the face? Let’s not waste it and explore all the opportunities.

Friends of East Hill Parks hopes the City of Vernon will agree to turn this land into a public park.

Megan Turcato/World News

Schellenberg said the city has yet to commit.

“One of the main concerns was that it is in the farmland reserve, but there are a lot of parks in the farmland reserve like BX Ranch Park, Kekuli Bay Provincial Park,[and] parts of Kalamalka Provincial Park. So it’s not uncommon to have a park that’s still in the farmland reserve,” Schellenberg said.

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A Vernon councilor says there is interest from the city.

« This is a great opportunity and we on council are very excited about it, » said Councilwoman Teresa Durning.

However, Durning says the city needs to do its due diligence and that will take time, especially since the farmland reservation designation may limit how the park can be developed.

« You can’t rush ahead, especially in this situation, if it’s city-owned land and in the[ALR}it’salittlemoretechnicalandcomplex »saidDurning[ALR}itisalittlemoretechnicalandcomplex”Durningsaid[ALR}c’estunpeuplustechniqueetcomplexe »adéclaréDurning[ALR}itisalittlemoretechnicalandcomplex”Durningsaid

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As this process unfolds, the advocacy group hopes to hear feedback from local residents on what kind of park amenities they would like to see in East Hill.

Friends of East Hill Parks is asking residents to complete a survey on their website.

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