With a bit of tweaking to come, and a major concern from its mayor defeated, Vernon’s plan for a proposed sports park at Kin Race Track is heading back to the public.
The park’s centrepiece is the Active Living Centre, which will be home to a new aquatic and fitness centre, multiple gymnasiums and a walking/running track. It will go to referendum in the October municipal elections, though the District of Coldstream and regional district electoral areas B and C have said they have no interest in taking part. The Village of Lumby also declined participating.
Mayor Victor Cumming was visibility disappointed at the regular council meeting Monday, April 25, with the access to the Active Living Centre, noting that “90 to 95 per cent of people who will use the centre on a regular basis” will park at the rear of the facility, walk through green space and either enter at the back of the facility – where the gyms and tracks are to be located – or walk around to the front where the aquatic and fitness centres are slated to be.
“We’ve added distance for everyone who will visit and plan to visit the Active Living Centre,” said Cumming, whose motion to have staff review access for vehicles to the centre did not receive a seconder among councillors Akbal Mund, Kari Gares, Scott Anderson and Teresa Durning (Brian Quiring and Kelly Fehr were absent from the meeting).
Council did agree to have staff amend its proposed right-turn only out of the park onto Old Kamloops Road, and look at left- and right-turns out. The plans currently include two roundabouts on the west side of the park on Old Kamloops Road, at Haney Road and at Alexis Park Drive. They also will have staff add a full trail around the perimeter of the park (plan now calls for intermittent trails).
The proposed park includes a third ice surface – Kal Tire Place West – to be constructed adjoining the current Kal Tire Place and KTP North facilities, along with an outdoor skating area that will utilize the Zamboni from KTPW.
Two artificial sports fields are in the plan as are two minor baseball diamonds, though Coun. Akbal Mund would like to see those removed from the plan, their spaces left empty for future needs, and the diamonds be built into the oval area at Polson Park.
Four multi-sport outdoor courts are included as is green space, outdoor patio/park plaza, natural play area, dog park and skate park.
Coun. Kari Gares praised staff for its work on the project.
“This is impeccable,” she said. “This is very close to what has been envisioned for this site.”
A cycling path for Old Kamloops Road is in the plan but parking along the roadside has been scrapped. Also taken out was a proposed parking lot for 61 stalls under the gyms of the Active Living Centre, which would add nearly $4.8 million to the projected price tag of $121 million.
The building of the park would use a phased-in approach, beginning with the Active Living Centre.
Long-range planning and sustainability manager Laurie Cordell said the next step in the process will be to show the concept plan to the community.
“There are features in the design that reflect feedback that the community provided in the earlier engagement phase,” said Cordell. “Additional comments from the community can help to refine details and integrate small elements that may not have been included in the concept plan.”
Final approval of the plan will be sought at council’s June 13 regular meeting.