The City of West Kelowna has acquired 5.34 hectares of land located at 2100 Westlake Road for park purposes.
The property is adjacent to a recently acquired property on McDougall Road that is the site of a multi-purpose indoor sports facility currently in the design stage and Rosewood Sportsfield.
A portion of the property, 3.64 hectares, was bought by the city for for $4.25 million for future athletic fields and an additional 1.70 hectares was donated by the landowner to accommodate a nature trail and nature park.
According to the city, the acquisition provides it with a consolidated 7.89 hectare parcel—when added to the adjacent property—which will offer numerous configuration options, the ability to accommodate future growth and host tournaments, as well as provide operational and maintenance efficiencies.
“Council is pleased with this land acquisition as it furthers our intentions for a consolidated recreational site in West Kelowna,” said Mayor Doug Findlater. “What is also important to note is this purchase is accomplished without the use of tax dollars.”
The project was fully funded by city’s parks development cost charges. Municipalities levy the charges on new development to pay for new or expanded infrastructure to adequately service community growth.
The acquisition is in keeping with council’s 20-year parks development cost charge capital cost plan for community park property acquisition in the community.
The property was purchased from the decedents of Mar Fee and Mar Jok, brothers who emigrated from China to Canada in 1910. Older brother Mar Fee worked to put Mar Jok through school. In 1929 the brothers opened and operated the Golden Pheasant Café in downtown Kelowna.
The brothers ran a soup kitchen out the back door of the restaurant after hours during the depression years to feed those in need.
In 1956, Jok and Fee purchased and shared 365 acres of land in West Kelowna now known as Rose Valley and used 60 acres of it for farming asparagus and for raising chickens, geese, and beehives for honey. Throughout their time in the area, the brothers were known for their generosity, benevolence and their willingness to help others and the community at large. Mar Jok Elementary School, located adjacent to the subject lands was also named in honour of the family.
The timing of planning, design and construction of the new park and trails will be further considered as part of the West Kelowna’s 10 year capital planning process.
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