West Kelowna playground proposal put on hold

Vineyard Park playground opposed by local empty nester and retiree residents.

A West Kelowna councillor’s attempt to see a promise he made during the last municipal election campaign come to fruition was rejected by his fellow councillors.

Coun. Rick de Jong was pushing for a playground to be built on what has been a 1.2 hectare greenbelt area called Vineyard Park, which borders on Vineyard Drive and Ridge Boulevard in the South Mt. Boucherie residential area.

While knocking on doors in the area during his campaign, de Jong said the feedback he received was the need for a playground to be built on the site, which he promised to follow through on.

A resolution before council on Tuesday was to approve the additional $50,000 expenditure for the playground addition to the park, in addition to $172,000 in other improvements planned to upgrade the park’s natural state, which has been paid for by Mission Hill Family Estate Winery as part of its 2009 area development application.

The additional playground funds would have come from two sources—capital reserves ($23,000) and playground equipment reserve ($27,000).

But de Jong encountered resistance from a group of area residents opposed to the project.

Susan Schultz, speaking on behalf of the group opposed to the proposal, said the site was ill-suited for a playground, advocating instead that it be kept in its natural state.

Schultz said most of the area residents are empty nesters or retirees, suggesting there is a lack of nearby resident children who would benefit from the playground, and stated there is inadequate space for parking.

She also cited it bordering on a busy traffic thoroughfare, where speeding seems to be the rule rather than the exception, as posing a potential risk for children using the playground.

“This area in its natural state has become a welcome break from the asphalt and concrete that surrounds us and we would like to see it maintained in its natural state,” Schultz said.

Coun. Bryden Winsby said he questioned the demographics of the area, citing Schultz’s claim that most of the immediate area residents are retired.

“I drive around that area quite a bit and I don’t see very many kids outside when I’m there,” he noted.

Mayor Doug Findlater said if there is opposition to the playground at this time, there is no need for the city to push the idea as part of the park upgrade plan.

“I like the idea of putting our stamp on there a bit so people don’t take the area as a place to park their cars or RVs, but I don’t see any harm in delaying the playground to some future date,” he said.

“If there are others who would welcome a playground in their neighbourhood, let’s go there.”

Coun. Rusty Ensign suggested the city do a door-to-door survey of local residents to get an accurate assessment of the population demographics.

There was an online survey and open house forum on the park improvements, both which drew a response of 78 people.

While council defeated the proposal, there will continue to be a provision for a playground to be added as part of the park upgrade at a later date.



Just Posted

Vancouver artist rocks to fight opioid crisis

Jeremy Allingham is set to bring his guitar-focused rock ‘n roll to Kelowna April 6, Vernon June 9

World Down Syndrome Day: The up side of Down

A Kelowna family’s journey with Down Syndrome: ‘There is tremendous beauty in these kids’

Kelowna cops crack down on drivers using cell phones

Drivers caught talking or texting behind the wheel now face a fine totalling $543

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

West Kelowna mayor meets finance minister to protest speculation tax

Doug Findlater presents Carole James with booklet of info outlining tax’s impact on his city

Crook’s Corner

Arts and entertainment highlights this week across the Okanagan

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Rockets’ Foote a finalist for top WHL D-man

Cal Foote named the Western Conference top defenseman; Foote and Dube named all-stars

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

UPDATE: Former B.C. city councillor sentenced nine months for sexual assault

Dave Murray, convicted this past fall, hired a private investigator to intrude on the victim’s life.

Shots fired in Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP are investigating a report of shots fired and a possible explosion at a trailer court

Most Read