Kelowna farmers’ market rejects move to downtown location

President resigns after heated debate at closed-door members' meeting Thursday night at Ramada hotel.

  • Thu Apr 17th, 2014 5:00pm
  • News

The membership of the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Society has voted against relocating from a parking lot across from Orchard Park Shopping Centre to become part of a new commercial development proposed for the city’s north end off Clement Avenue.

By a reported vote of 58 to 28, the society opted to remain at the market’s current location, a decision which apparently resulted in the resignation of society president Wolfe Wesle, replaced by vice-president Rachelle Leroux.

A society member wouldn’t confirm the vote count other than to say he was in the majority.

“I don’t think I’m in a position to say any more than that,” he said. “I don’t want to rattle the waters.”

While the media were banned from the meeting room during the debate prior to the vote, among the apparent concerns about relocating the popular market included the construction they would be surrounded by over the next two to four years.

Besides the commercial development the market would become part of, road improvements to Clement and the building of the new neighbouring police station, set to start in 2017, would create disruptions which would not be beneficial to the market.

As well, moving from its central location to the north end of the city was another negative cited by members opposed to the move.

Adding to the issue is the desire of another developer with land across the Springfield/Dilworth intersection from the current market location site who has made public his intentions to proceed with his own project which would feature the outdoor market as its centrepiece.