The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has asked for cash instead of parkland from a development in Naramata.
The developer had proposed dedicating 0.9 hectares as parkland out of the 14.4-hectare 41-lot subdivision being built off Arawana Forestry Road on the east side of Naramata. But that offer was turned down by the RDOS board.
Instead, the board wants the developer pay $104,000 in-lieu of the parkland, following a recommendation from staff and the Naramata Parks and Recreation Commission.
RDOS director Bob Coyne raised the question of why the RDOS shouldn’t take the land, and the risk of future residents having to “buy back” green space.
Members of the commission had visited the site on multiple occasions, including Naramata director Karla Kozakevich, who also noted that the proposed parkland would be up a hillside and near the KVR Trail.
“We do have a large amount of parkland in Naramata,” said Kozakevich. “It would have looked more like an area where you could park with a couple of picnic tables where you could venture off onto the KVR Trail. We already have parking lots in other areas with picnic tables and washrooms.”
Instead, the commission felt that they had parkland already under their authority that needed upgrades more than they needed to take on new land and recommended for the cash option from the developer.
The funds will go to the electoral area’s parkland acquisition fund, which has been severely depleted in recent years including purchases of parkland for the community.
One of the conditions of the proposal is also to have the cash in lieu of the parkland provided by the developer within six months in order to prevent it from being affected significantly by changing property values.
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