To the editor:
On Oct. 20, 2014, in an highly controversial vote, members of the Rutland Park Society voted to sell Rutland Centennial Park to the City of Kelowna (155, yes; 63, no).
Mayor Gray and council approved the purchase of the park on Oct. 27, 2014 at their afternoon council meeting.
Flash forward to the new council. A Feb. 12, 2015 City of Kelowna press release states in part: “The City of Kelowna has officially acquired Rutland Centennial Park as part of the Memorandum of Agreement with the Rutland Park Society.” (On Feb. 11, the City received official notification from the Land Title Office that park ownership has been transferred.)
In early February, strategic land development manager Graham Hood said the city was awaiting word from the province on the subdivision of the property. He also said the subdivision pertains to taking a portion of the park and dedicating it as a roadway (extension of Shepherd Road) to allow for two-way bus transit and other vehicles.
Wouldn’t the following two actions also be necessary:
1. The Rutland Park Society would submit their Oct. 20, 2014 resolution to the BC Registry Service, and have it approved and registered.
To date, the RPS has not submitted their resolution to the BC Registry Service (Victoria). A society’s resolution—whether special, ordinary, or director’s—does not take effect until it is filed with the BC Registry Service. From Section 66 of the BC Society Act: “(3) A special resolution, other than one changing the number of directors or removing a director, does not take effect until it is filed with the registrar.”
2. Rutland Centennial Park would need to be re-zoned through a public process, from P2 to P3.
(A good example of “public process” can be seen at the corner of Richter Street and Clement Avenue. Two large City of Kelowna signs—“It’s your neighbourhood”—publicized a May 24, 2014 public hearing and rezoning application, regarding the new police services building.)
The “Terms of Instrument—Part 2—Park Covenant” document specifically mentions P3 zoning: “Land Use Restriction—The Land shall only be used for such purposes as are permitted within the P3 Zone of the City of Kelowna Zoning Bylaw No. 8000, as that bylaw stands on the date of registration of this Agreement in the land title office.”
The Feb. 12 press release continues: “Input is needed to help prioritize future park amenities at a public information session planned for Wednesday, Feb. 18 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Centennial Hall. City staff will be on hand to answer questions.”
From the May 30, 2013 workshop document “Rutland: Vision, Focus and Future (online): “Consider the Following Development Options: Transfer Park Area Ownership to City (2014), Re-Develop Park and Hall (2014-2015), Acquire and add Post Office Site to Centennial Park (2015).”
At present the Canada Post Office at 190 Rutland Road North is a letter carrier depot. Does the city have plans to purchase this property? If so, for what purpose?
I look forward to hearing answers not only from city staff but also from RPS president Todd Sanderson. On Aug. 22, 2014, a Global Okanagan TV news report was posted online with the caption: “Rutland Park Society investigates missing funds, looks to make sale to city.”
If the RPS is alleging funds are missing, why hasn’t a forensic audit of the society’s books been ordered? How can the RPS receive funds (including $800,000 from the city) when there is still no treasurer to oversee the receiving and managing of funds?