Friday, August 31, 2007

Readers Write!

The following email was received from a reader:

"Hi Gyula:

Thanks for taking the trouble to inform our community about the upcoming rate payers meeting. I have made a note of your website and I will be attending the meeting. May I offer your blog a letter I recently sent the Morning Star concerning the proposed Sports Complex. I don't know if they will publish it before the 11 Sept public meeting, in any case I will be reading it aloud at the meeting to those assembled.

yours truly

Peter Peto"

I can’t help noticing that the Morning star has taken a bias in favour of the development of a Sports Complex on the Coldstream ranch between Highway 6 and Aberdeen road.

One would have hoped for a less partial and more balanced treatment when attempting to inform local readers and constituents about this contentious issue. The idea that Greater Vernon needs a Sports Complex and that it’s only suitable location is in Coldstream is simply taken for granted and the decision of GVRD/GVSC is not even questioned.

In my view, the whole idea is just another pro-development, pro-business initiative based on the notion of "If it is good for business; it’s good for greater Vernon".

Increased urbanization comes with environmental and social costs that must be borne by everybody regardless of selective economic benefits. As a retiree, living in Coldstream, I oppose yet another mega project constructed in the centre of our rural/bedroom community which will roll up and pave over yet more agricultural land. I have heard some proponent’s claim that we owe it to our children to go ahead with the project yet our existing playgrounds are underutilized. Others claim that project opponents are just plain selfish by hindering the interests of those who would come from out of town to use these facilities, as in the case of “Funtastic.” These are phony, self-serving accusations, which claim residents of Coldstream, have a moral obligation to support the proposed site.

Finally, I am upset that his Worship, Mayor Corner, with his pro-development mandate of just 8 votes over his mayoral opponent Mr. Danyliu in the last election, has the nerve to table this motion. Coldstream Council is well aware that in a recent community survey 80 percent of the respondents was against development of agricultural land, yet as Chairmen of GVSC it was put on Coldstream’s agenda.

If as a Coldstream resident you are opposed to the location of the proposed Sports Complex, come to the Special meeting at Coldstream Elementary School, 7 pm Tuesday, 11 September 2007. If, as I expect, Mayor Corner and his Council cronies rubber stamp this proposal, it will be a fair warning to local voters that some care is required to scrutinize your elected representatives. A careless vote may come back to bite or kick you in the behind!

Peter Peto

492 Terrace Drive


205 503 2203

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Readers' Write.

Hello Andy and Tony,

Thanks for the info taxpayer's Group sent out. There are many excellent points in your brief to the public. There are many items not mentioned by GVS that are very important to Coldstream residents: Is the costs of extending water and sewer lines to the area as the present infrastructure would certainly not provide the required water or sewage capacity. Would that be 100% responsibility to Coldstream or?? Also what new infrastructure would Coldstream and / or GVS have to pay for to provide the required Hydro systems? What are costs associated with burying the present watercourse through the property and what are costs to have that vast acreage leveled to allow buildings, ball fields, tennis courts, parking areas etc. place on the site.

Would Aberdeen Road need to be be widened? Have the neighbours been polled about how they would react to noise, flood lights etc. in their front and/or backyards? Unfortunately I will be out of town on September 6th and also on date of Coldstream Meeting. I do hope that there will be a huge turnout and that Coldstream or GVS doesn't try ramming this forward, especially after the lesson given Vernon in the last 10 days.

Will add more as I learn more about the "Fields" in discussions with friends and neighbours. Will pass on anything that surfaces from this end.

Good luck and keep up the Good Work about informing the public.


Name withheld.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

CHBC News -- Paving Paradise?

There are two issues that bother me in the report.

1. "It is not necessary to go to the public. We just want to inform people" (Mayor Corner).

Since the proposal is a major change in the OCP the public indeed must be involved.

2. "The second meeting is open to all residents of the Greater Vernon area."

At this meeting Coldstream Council will debate if they should support the proposed changes to the OCP. People living outside of Coldstream should be able to follow the proceedings but should not be involved in the debate. They should be involved when the actual plans, complete with time lines and costs are debated at a future date if Council opts to support the application to the ALR and the ALR actually aproves the plans.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Press release -- Coldstream RatePayers -- Vernon and District Taxpayers!


Sports Complex Proposal on Aberdeen Road

The Greater Vernon Services Commission has tabled an offer for a"Sports Complex" to be located on 120 acres of prime Agricultural land for endorsement by Coldstream Council to change land use from agricultural to a non-farm use category.

GVSC require Coldstream Council's endorsement to remove from the ALR 120 prime acres of agricultural land so that they can construct a stadium, a one thousand car parking lot, a banquet facility and a number of playing fields. This offer was tabled at a Coldstream Council meeting by Gary Corner who doubles as Coldsteam Mayor and GVSC chairman.

Neither a cost benefit analysis nor expected costs of this mega project were offered by Mayor Corner either to his fellow Coldstream Councillors, or to the Citizens of Coldstream.

Through our own research the Coldstream Ratepayers Association (CRA) have managed to secure the following facts:

1. The GVSC's own Recreation Master Plan states that existing sports facilities are sufficient for Greater Vernon's needs until the year 2014.

2. The Master Plan identifies scheduling and inadequate maintenance as the needs requiring immediate attention.

3. The sports and banquet facilities in a draft drawing of part of the "Sports Complex reflect an adult orientation rather than the playing needs of our children.

4. The GVSC has stated to the ALR that this land, if converted to sports facilities, could be rehabilitated for agriculture if needed in the future. However, Paul Christie, a member of the Advisory Planning Commission, who saw the proposal, made the point that once you have paved a thousand car parking lot and built a stadium with wash rooms, offices. banquet halls, kitchens and sewage facilities, rehabilitation becomes unlikely.

5. Coldstream Council can not approve the GVSC proposal without a major amendment to their OCP as almost ninety percent of residents surveyed rejected the idea of removal of lands from the ALR.

All Coldstream residents are invited to a Town Hall Meeting of the residents of Coldstream at Kidston Elementary school on September 6, 2007 at 7:00 pm. We are also inviting the GVSC. We are inviting The GVSC to explain its proposal at this meeting and give us the likely costs of the project at this meeting. As with any other big expenditure proposal, the taxpayers must be given a detailed cost/benefit analysis. It behooves the GVSC to collect information on usage, and potential usage, of a sports complex. Then, it must determine exactly, to the penny, how much the sports complex will cost taxpayers. Finally, the GVSC must explain the benefits for all the taxpayers and lay out other options that have not been explored. All we, as taxpayers, ask is for the GVSC to let us express our informed opinion, whether for, or against.

The CRA expects Coldstream Council to respect its Official Community Plan and reject this proposal. If they choose to amend their OCP and endorse the proposal it must be presented to all the Citizens of Greater Vernon for their input and authorization through referendum of the likely multi-million dollar expenditures accompanying this proposal. If the OCP is amended, there will be a meeting for all residents of the Greater Vernon area.

Attached are maps of the 120 acres of Coldstream Ranch and the proposed sports complex. (Click on image to enlarge).


Andy Danyliu, Coldstream Ratepayers Association• 260-2628 •

Antony Stamboulieh, Vernon & Districts Taxpayers Association • 260-1082 •

For information on planning contact Paul Christie, Advisory Planning Committee and agrologist expert in municipal planning • 542-9109 •

For information on GVSC governance contact Gyula Kiss • 545-8772 •

Friday, August 24, 2007

Is Coldstream the only place for new playing fields?

News report:

“A petition in favour of building a new outdoor sports complex and park on Aberdeen Road in Coldstream is gaining momentum. Bill Tarr, with the Outdoor Sports User Group, says they've looked at their membership and for example, 45 percent of all soccer players live in Coldstream, but there is only one full size field in the community. Tarr says groups need proper facilities, and there are problems with some fields, like Polson Park where coaches have to pick up syringes and glass before every football game. He says the Coldstream location is ideal and the best of the 12 to 14 locations the group looked at. Tarr says 500 people signed the on-line petition in the first day. You can sign at businesses around town or on-line at“ (Betty Selin, Standard Radio News

There are interesting, albeit questionable, reasons given by the Outdoor Sports User Group for the conversion of prime agricultural land into 15 assorted playing fields and four dog agility fields as well as parking for 1,000 cars. It is worth commenting on those arguments.

1. “The Coldstream location is ideal and the best of the 12 to 14 locations the group looked at.”

It may be that the Coldstream location is ideal for those playing fields, but it is also ideal for agriculture. As it is prime quality agricultural land it is zoned for that purpose in the Official Community Plan (OCP). Re-zoning would be a major departure from the OCP and would require the approval of the community as a whole (Coldstream, not Greater Vernon). Just as Vernon cannot convert the airport for playing fields without a major change in the Vernon OCP, Coldstream Council must also abide by our own OCP.

Furthermore, the land is under the jurisdiction of the Agricultural Land Commission and their mandate would suffer irreparable damage if they would allow the change of use of this prime piece of agricultural land. They just could not justify the change of use and would set a dangerous precedence.

2. “45 percent of all soccer players live in Coldstream, but there is only one full size field in the community”.

There is no requirement that all soccer players must use full sized, Coldstream area soccer fields for their sport. Coldstream is a full member of Greater Vernon Parks and Recreation and pay the same mill rate for financing the fields and other sport and recreation facilities as well as paying for the operation and maintenance of said facilities as those living in Vernon and the Regional District’s Area “B” and “C”. They have full rights to play on fields in Vernon. In fact, we just recently contributed to the construction of an indoor soccer facility in Vernon.

There are many hockey players in Coldstream who use ice rinks located in Vernon. Should we build an arena in Coldstream? In the late 1990,s the Greater Vernon Parks and Recreation Directors refused to support a proposed Multiplex to be constructed by a private contractor at his expense in Coldstream. This facility would have had two ice rinks with plenty of opportunity for use by all comers. Instead, we built a single ice sheet in Vernon at taxpayers expense ($15 million) and hired a private operator to operate it.

Most people in Coldstream shop in Vernon and support Vernon’s merchants and businesses. No one in Vernon complains that Coldstream should embark on constructing their own businesses to compete with those in Vernon.

If Coldstream really needed an additional full sized soccer field I am reasonably sure that we could find a piece of land for it without having to convert 120 acres of prime agricultural land.

It is preposterous to suggest that we could only resolve the shortages of playing fields, real or imaginary, by constructing all of them on a large piece of prime agricultural land in Coldstream.

Few people would oppose constructing playing fields but they must be on lands other than prime agriculture.

The mentality that the paying public is the enemy and must be kept in the dark must change. These plans were developed in-camera consulting only with vested interest groups and without informing the public. GVS Parks tried to have the ALC to have the use changed in May, 2006, apparently behind the backs of Coldstream residents. The plans were revealed only days before Coldstream Council was to vote on supporting the plan.

The project should have been discussed in open meetings from the initial conception with full disclosure to the public. We should follow the suggestion expressed in the Editorial of the Morning Star (August 24) referring to the Library/Civic Complex (replace the words “building” with “playing fields” and the “city” and “RCMP” with "GVSC taxpayer”):

“Collect information on usage, and potential usage, of a new building (playing fields). Determine exactly, to the penny, how much the building (playing fields) will cost taxpayers. Explain the benefits for the city and the RCMP (GVSC taxpayer) and lay out other options that have not been explored. All we ask is for the city (GVSC) to let us express our informed opinion, whether for, or against.”

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Noonan to Speak at Labour Day Picnic

The following news item is contributed by Nick Hodge.

Randy Noonan will be the guest speaker at the Vernon Labour Day

Noonan Hewson Law Office played a role in a landmark
Supreme Court decision announced June 8, 2007. The case arose from
the BC Liberal government imposing a contract on BC health workers,
which led to the layoff of 8,000 health care workers. The Supreme Court
concluded that the right to freedom of association protects collective
bargaining, and that labour contracts cannot be imposed. The BC
government has one year to renegotiate the contracts, and change its
legislation to comply with the ruling.

Noonan Hewson is a Vernon law firm working in labour and employment law.

On behalf of the BC Teacher’s Federation, they presented a 20-page
history of Canadian labour law that convinced the Supreme Court to
reverse their previous decisions and include collective bargaining as a
Charter right.

The Labour Day picnic is from noon to 5pm on Monday, September 3, 2007
at Kin Beach in Okanagan Landing. The picnic is sponsored by the
Okanagan Vernon NDP Constituency Association and the North Okanagan
Labour Council.

Everyone is welcome.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Coldstream Councillor's viewpoint.

Following is an email sent to supporters of the proposed Sports Complex on agricultural land in Coldstream by Councillor Jim Garlick of Coldstream Council. The letter was printed with the approval of the author for which we thank him.

I thought I should reply to this because I get to vote on whether or not this application goes to the ALC for consideration on Sept. 11 for Coldstream council. At this time after being involved in this process I will vote against it. The following are things I have considered and discussed with others on this issue. This is much more complicated than the community simply going out to buy some park land to put some fields on. If you have constructive comments after reading all the information please let me know.

You may want to provide the attached plan (Scan10001) of the proposed park to anyone you talk to on this topic. Most peoples' view of a "Stanley Park" is not what is proposed for the site. With a 1000-car parking lot, this is more like playland. With 1000 parking spaces this will rival the much larger Stanley Park for parking. (Please click on image).

A major point to be understood here is that this is highly productive agricultural land (4 to 5 crops/year) which is part of a much larger value-added operation, the Coldstream Ranch. Parks development should be used to improve degraded marginal land. In this case good agricultural land is becoming degraded through the parks development process. McCarther Park in Kamloops was a land fill-in the past (not a good idea on an island in a river) before becoming a park.

Any development on the Aberdeen Land in question is conditional to required net benefits for agriculture by the land commission and the District of Coldstream in Coldstream's Official Community Plan (OCP). This land deal has no such net benefits to agriculture and therefore does not meet the requirements of the Coldstream OCP.

Another thing to consider is that there are parks projects on the books that have never been completed (look at Marshall Fields), adding one more mega project will only further delay or stop other projects or result in considerable tax increases. The development of the Aberdeen site will most likely cost considerably more than the land. Look at the site to see the volume of earth to be moved and get informed of the cost of building sports fields.

How often would people use the proposed park complex compared to a local or neighbourhood park as a family with their children. Do large sports complexes serve the majority of the community? Look at Lakeview, Lavington and Creekside Parks as examples of neighbourhood parks.

Location is something we might want to plan for. The sports groups involved talk about how this park complex will help with Vernon being able to host tournaments. Look at the locations of the hotels and restaurants in Vernon. Most of these are located in the north part of town resulting in more cars traveling across town on roads that are already reaching capacity. Drive along Old Kamloops Road and ask why lands north of the Multiplex are not being considered. We could find additional use for the parking area at the Multiplex and have a building on-hand for awards and banquets. (I am guessing but the answer to this is could be because the ring of tax dollars for the city if a developer is successful in getting this land north of the city out of the ALR -now in process- and re-zones it commercial/light industrial, then gets it annexed into the city. Coldstream loses tax paying land, gets a non-tax paying park and Vernon gets tax dollars.)

Think about the process used to come up with this proposed park complex. Did you have any input? Only the heads of sports groups and Funtastic supplied input on what they wanted for this park. All this while the rest of the public did not get to hear about it because the issue was behind closed doors because it was only discussed in-camera.

Read the master parks plan, attached,
( and ask why we are even pursuing this park at this time (see the time-lines and priorities). This is what the Land Commission will consider when they ask about community need. Is this a need or a want?

Read the recent legal review on alternative use and community need, attached.

There is more, especially, regarding food security and the amount of agricultural land being lost in this prime food-producing area (Read: Okanagan Life, June issue), but this would be preaching to the converted to go on about it to those who are truly informed. If you are not, then please read and learn.

The argument that our only choice is land in the ALR is true if we decide we need 100 acres to fit every sport known to the area on it. We could also decide that football and soccer do not need to be in the same location. The dog and baseball people may not need to come to the same place. This would spread the benefit of green space and facilities across the area. We could look at buying smaller parcels of marginal, low-productivity or non-producing ALR land and amalgamating them into one parcel minimizing the impact on agricultural land.

Jim Garlick

Sunday, August 19, 2007


Congratulations to the Vernon and District Taxpayers Association for a job well done!

They collected over 6,000 signatures against the proposed borrowing of $20 million for the construction of a "Library and Civic Complex" which is already a misleading title as the Library costs an additional $9 million.

Citizens lined up in huge numbers to sign the petition, indignant with their politicians for their arrogant statements, indicating that whatever the outcome of the Alternate Approval Process they would build the facility regardless.

While on the subject of the Alternate Approval Process, in this writer's opinion the legislation interferes with an individual's right to privacy. Unlike a referendum, where our choices are private, this process requires the voter to reveal his/her address, requires his/her signature and reveals his/her vote. It could be an interesting challenge in a Court of Law.

The results are further proof that the Taxpayers indeed have the power to ensure that their representatives are also their servants and not the other way around.

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Land Commission's position

The attached letters from GVSC and the ALC explain two things. First, it informs us that the request for changing the allowable use of this prime agricultural land had been in the works for well over a year without the knowledge of the taxpayers of Coldstream.

Second, it informs Greater Vernon that this issue is an internal issue of Coldstream and is a part of Coldstream's Official Community Plan.

(click on images to enlarge)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

When will the burden end?

It is interesting how we all rationalize our “needs”. The Outdoor Sports User Group representing Soccer, Slo-Pitch, Baseball, Fastball, Football, Rugby, Field Lacrosse, Ultimate, Track & Field and Dog Agility established a host of “needs” and presented their proposal. Unfortunately, it has to be established on prime agricultural land in Coldstream and paid for by the taxpayers.

The plan can be viewed in the previous article.

There are some problems with this plan. The most obvious problem is the fact that it would remove from production 120 acres of prime agricultural land, creating a precedent no future Councils would like to face. How could they deny support for requests from owners of any grade of agricultural land to be removed from the reserve?

The support for the change in use of those lands MUST BE the sole right of the taxpayers of Coldstream who jointly developed the Coldstream Community Plan. No matter how much people from outside Coldstream want this OCP change they have no standing on the issue.

The other fundamental problem is that this proposal was developed in isolation by special interest groups without consulting the taxpayers who will have to foot the bill, the cost of the land and the cost of developing and maintaining those fields.

The proper procedure would be to prepare these plans, have them reviewed by the taxpayers and hold a referendum. That is what we call DEMOCRACY! If the taxpayers agree to pay the bill then we proceed with the plans.

There are other problems. We are constantly being encouraged to save energy, yet we keep supplying more and more playing fields with high-powered spot lights.

Do our children really need all these lit fields to practice their games? Are these playing fields really for the children or are they for adults who prefer subsidized recreation rather than paying for their own? I don’t think most taxpayers would mind subsidizing children but shouldn’t adults pay their fair share?

Is it essential that all the sport facilities be concentrated on a single field? No wonder we need a 1,000 car parking lot for this “sports gulag”.

In the last seven years the taxpayers have had a whole string of expensive projects loaded on them. We have the Theatre, the Multiplex, the new sewage treatment plant, the new Municipal Hall in Coldstream, the farcical water “referendum” (still no improved water), and major increases in service costs. Where will it end?

Do you, the taxpayer, have bottomless pockets? *******************************************************************************************************

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Town-hall meeting




September 6, 2007 at 7:00 PM, Kidston Elementary School Gym.

We need your input. Some members of council believe that the use of over 120 acres of our prime agricultural land should be altered. Come and discuss the issues and send a message to council what your wishes are.

The issues are two-fold:

1. Should Council support the altering of the Official Community Plan by applying to the Land Commission for this change?

This is strictly a Coldstream issue and should be debated by Coldstream residents only!

Here is a quote from Coldstream's Official Community Plan:

“Rural and agricultural lands occupy the majority of land in Coldstream. Most of the land in the valley bottom is agricultural, except for the residential communities near Kalamalka Lake and Lavington. The rural land on the valley sides is largely forest or grassland.

Council's policies are to:

Encourage protection of agricultural land through support of the Agricultural Land Reserve and encouragement of continued farm use on agricultural lands."

Applying for this change in use of prime agricultural land would result in loss of credibility by Council, and a dangerous precedent. How could Council, in good faith, turn down other applicants who wish to subdivide or develop their ALR land for non agricultural use?

Further, changing the use is a major change in the Official Community Plan and would require a referendum.

2. Do we need the proposed Sports Complex?

Council must reject the proposed location, as this is a Greater Vernon issue and should be debated there by all residents of Greater Vernon. There must be specific plans presented to taxpayers complete with costs and time lines.

For your information the preliminary proposal is presented overleaf. When reviewing the information, consider the questions posed there.

Call your members of Council and express your views!

Here are their phone numbers: Mayor Corner: 549-1881


Dirk: 545-3701, Firman: 545-7199, Garlick: 542-0421

Malerby: 542-9579, Taylor: 542-7831, Williams: 542-1912

Please attend the meeting and contribute your views!


(Click on photo to enlarge)

This is what the Parks Master Plan states:

Vernon has a sports field supply of 1/996 population. This is a very high standard of supply. An analysis was conducted of field use in relation to capacity. The GVSC master recreation plan states there are sufficient playing fields till 2014 and what are lacking are maintenance and effective scheduling. This “mega-project” exceeds our ability to pay!

Based on this, do we really need and can we afford new stadia and 1,000 car parking lots at this time?

For further info please visit:

To review the Parks Master Plan please visit:

Friday, August 3, 2007

Parks Master Plan

Some excerpts from the Parks Master Plan for your information.

Major Destination Parks


• Acquire land for and develop a new major destination park in the north Vernon area - recommend park acquisition minimum 40 ha, some of which is to meet current needs and the remainder to meet future needs (i.e. funding through DCCs).

• Develop the new major destination park through a Master Planning process involving community consultation, with consideration for picnic, hiking, play and interpretive facilities.

• Upgrade Polson Park through a Master Planning process involving community consultation, addressing potential removal of the grandstand and football field, upgrading of facilities as required, removal of vehicular traffic through the park, and development of new facilities for the general public, e.g., picnicking and gathering areas, special types of plantings.

• Explore opportunities for acquiring land for a third major destination park that will be required in 10 to 20 years. Potential locations include upper elevation lands in the Commonage or Bella Vista Range.
Community and Neighbourhood Parks.


• Acquire new community parks in new development areas and where special opportunities exist, generally as shown on the plan (see Map 3). Distribute community parks as required based on future population and available properties.

• Develop new community parks as development proceeds.

• Develop the following properties with community park facilities: BX Ranch, Sovereign property – both to have special focus based on natural and cultural features.

• Acquire neighbourhood parks in new development areas, generally as shown on Map 3 (slightly revised from OCP).

• Explore the option of acquiring West Vernon Elementary School as a park site if the School District closes this school. If acquired, review the existing facilities to determine any potential for adaptive uses, with particular consideration for the recreation needs of seniors.

• Purchase N’Kwala Park if the School District is interested in selling it.

• Upgrade existing community and neighbourhood parks as required. The following are potential upgrading needs:

• Develop a trail around Cool’s Pond to provide more opportunity for recreation.

• Upgrade the lacrosse facility at Creekside Park.

• Improve the access and parking at Coldstream Park.

The following are principles that should be used to guide acquisition and development of community and neighbourhood parks:

• Locate community parks adjacent to secondary schools where possible.

• Locate community recreation facilities in or adjacent to community parks where possible.

• Locate community parks near natural areas or trails where possible.

• Locate neighbourhood parks adjacent to elementary schools where possible.

• Locate neighbourhood parks central to neighbourhoods with street frontage and access from all four sides if possible.

• Dispose of underutilized park properties smaller than 0.2 ha that have financial value in locations already well served by neighbourhood parks, where the surrounding community will support this.

• Increase the size of neighbourhood parks smaller than 0.2 ha in locations that are not well served by neighbourhood parks.

• Encourage the School District and college to recognize school grounds and campuses as park areas and to develop or improve them accordingly.


Ball Diamonds

Vernon has a total of 34 ball diamonds, of which 24 are for softball (slo-pitch or fastball), and 10 are baseball (9 minor and 1 adult).

Vernon has a softball diamond supply of 1/2,116 population, a very high supply. The baseball diamond supply is 1/5,080 population. This is also a large number of fields for the size of the community. An analysis was conducted of field use in relation to capacity. Using a conservative estimate of capacity (Monday to Saturday week, Saturday based on 9 to 3 pm only, 2 hour blocks for ball games, one block per weekday evening for fields without lights, 2 blocks for fields with lights), the field use in relation to capacity is 55% for school fields, and 75% for fields in parks.

The largest group of ball diamond users in the community is the various adult slo-pitch leagues who together have over 1,000 members. The minor fastball (also called fastpitch) league serves around 180 girls; fastball can use the same diamonds as slo-pitch. There is only one adult baseball league, and a minor baseball league that had 450 members in 2000. Slo-pitch participation is steady, minor fastball is stable, and minor baseball participation is decreasing.

In addition to the above league play that includes practices, games and tournaments, a Funtastic tournament is held in Vernon every summer on the July 1 long weekend. In 2003, 320 teams participated, making this the largest amateur event in Western Canada. Mixed slo-pitch is the central event, with most of the activity occuring on the DND site. The group hopes to build Funtastic Place in Vernon, a major slopitch tournament facility.


• Work on partnership agreements with School District to enable GVSC to renovate and maintain school fields to a higher standard and to enable access to washrooms.

• Focus on minor fastball at Grahame by moving adults elsewhere, e.g. new field at DND or Funtastic Place, especially since two of the fields at Grahame are too small for adult use.

Sports Fields

Vernon has a total of 51 sports fields. These are used primarily for soccer, but other uses include football, rugby, field lacrosse, track and field, fly fishing practice, grass volleyball, Special Olympics, and ultimate (frisbee).

Vernon has a sports field supply of 1/996 population. This is a very high standard of supply. An analysis was conducted of field use in relation to capacity. Using a conservative estimate of capacity (Monday to Saturday week, Saturday based on 9 to 3 pm only, 1½ hr blocks for soccer, one block per weekday evening), the field use in relation to capacity is 43% for school fields, and 73% for fields in parks.

The North Okanagan Youth Soccer Association (NOYSA) is the primary user of sports fields. With about 2000 members in the 2003 season, membership is stable and their season of use is April to November. The NOYSA uses all park and school fields except ones that are in poor condition. They host 3 tournaments per year. There are also men’s and women’s soccer leagues in the community.

There are several important trends occurring in soccer. One is a move towards artificial turf, which can sustain much higher levels of play year-round, and many B.C. communities now have or are developing such fields. Another is indoor artificial turf practice facilities, e.g., Western Indoor Soccer, Burnaby. These are very popular for training. The third factor is the hiring of full time soccer development coordinators to improve the sport. These factors are leading to a more active soccer community and worn, over-utilized fields.

The other groups that use sports fields include: senior mens’ rugby, minor football, high school football, field lacrosse, track and field, fly fishing practice, grass volleyball, Special Olympics, and ultimate (frisbee). Ultimate is a relatively new activity. With just over 50 regular members in the Greater Vernon area, the league hosted a major weekend tournament in recent years, and also hosts several smaller tournaments annually.


• Work on partnership agreements with School District to enable GVSC to renovate and maintain school fields to a higher standard.

• Support the development of an indoor soccer facility. Potential locations in order of priority: Kin Park, OUC site or area. If possible, locate the indoor soccer fields at the same site as the new premium soccer fields.

• If an artificial turf field is developed, upgrade or develop 2 additional fields in the next 10 years.

• Options: renovate fields at Kal Secondary, Vernon Secondary, or BX Elementary.

• Develop 2 new fields in proposed parks.

• If an artificial turf field is not developed, upgrade or develop 6 additional fields in the next 10 years.

• Options: renovate fields at Kal Secondary, Vernon Secondary, BX Elementary, Kidston, Hillview #1

• Develop 6 new fields in proposed parks.

• Develop a new fieldhouse with washroom, concession and storage at any proposed major new field complex.

• Develop a package and staff support to encourage tournaments in the community in collaboration with Sport North Okanagan, GVSC Economic Development and Community Futures.

These are the more important points relating to sport fields and community parks. For further information please visit:

Thursday, August 2, 2007

DISTRICT OF COLDSTREAM - Coldstream Ranch Consolidation

In the late 1990-es Council of the time in cooperation with the ALC and the owner of Coldstream Ranch considered the consolidation of small parcels of the Ranch in exchange for removal from the land reserve of certain parts of the Spicer Block. As the consolidation never materialized those plans are no longer valid. Also, only the lower quality portion of the Block was considered (adjacent to Rendell Drive). For information the appropriate section of the Coldstream Official Community Plan is presented here. Remember, any change to the Community Plan is strictly a Coldstream matter!

Coldstream Ranch Consolidation


3.8 In order to protect the long-term agricultural viability of the valley bottom from possible “hobby farm” development on the existing smaller parcels of the Coldstream Ranch, the Agricultural Land Commission, the District of Coldstream and the Ranch have been engaged in discussions about the potential for consolidating the smaller lots.

To offset the economic losses this consolidation would incur for the Coldstream Ranch, the District has proposed that the value of the approximately forty lots that would be lost in the consolidation be transferred to a more suitable site. These transferred parcels would be considerably smaller than the existing lots and clustered so as to reduce impacts on the surrounding area.

After conducting an intensive development constraints and opportunities analysis, the District presented a number of potential development sites to the OCP Steering Committee and Coldstream Ranch for consideration. The advantages and disadvantages of each of these sites were discussed by Council, the OCP Steering Committee, Coldstream Ranch, Agricultural Land Commission and planning consultants. All of these options were eventually deemed unsuitable, with the exception of the Spicer block.

The Spicer block has relatively high agricultural capacity, but it is located close to existing development and sewer servicing, and offers the potential of developing stronger ties to the existing and proposed residential community. The proposed cluster of single family and multi-family residential could be enhanced by recreational land which could act as a buffer separating residential from agricultural uses.

Residents attending Open Houses in Lavington and Coldstream in March 1997 responded favourably to the consolidation and density transfer idea. 73% of Lavington respondents and 67% of Coldstream respondents agreed with the idea.


3.9 Council’s objective is to facilitate the consolidation of smaller parcels located between Grey Road and Warren Road on the Coldstream Ranch. Policies

3.10 Council’s policies are to:

1. Encourage the Coldstream Ranch to consolidate parcels located between Grey Road and Warren Road that are generally 4 hectares (about 10 acres) or less in area, and resubdivide the area into a few larger parcels with an average size of about 30 hectares (74.1 acres).

2. Designate part of the land known as the Spicer Block (located between Aberdeen Road and Highway 6, north of Rendell Drive) for residential and recreational use in order to compensate the Coldstream Ranch for the loss it will incur through the parcel consolidation.

3. Direct mixed residential use on the Spicer block to the south west area of the parcel which is designated as RMC - Residential Mixed Cluster on the Land Use Map (Schedule B).

4. Allow a mixture of residential densities ranging from single family residential at 7.5 units per hectare (3 units per acre) to multiple family residential at a maximum of 30 units per hectare (12 units per acre) on the residential part of the Spicer Block.

5. Require buffering between the residential and agricultural land uses. The buffering should meet the Agricultural Land Commission Landscape Buffer Specifications, and be located on the residential side of the residential-agricultural border.

6. Work together with the Coldstream Ranch in the joint preparation of a detailed concept plan for the Spicer Block. The concept plan will form the basis of a rezoning, and should include at least the following:

• Location and type of various forms of residential development and ancillary uses;
• Building design guidelines;
• Location and design of landscape buffers;
• Road layout and traffic circulation;
• Water, sewer, and drainage service alignments;
• Analysis of geotechnical conditions and limitations.

7. In order to facilitate the lot consolidation and density transfer, the District of Coldstream, the Coldstream Ranch, the Agricultural Land Commission, and other parties involved will generally take the following steps:

1. Confirm the layout of the lots between Grey Road and Warren Road upon being consolidated and resubdivided into parcels approximately 30 hectares (74.1 acres) in area.

2. Conduct an appraisal of the loss in land value that the Coldstream Ranch would incur due to the consolidation and resubdivision.

3. Refine the amount of land required for development at the Spicer Block in order to compensate the Coldstream Ranch for the loss it will incur due to consolidation and resubdivision.

4. Prepare the detailed concept plan for the development at the Spicer block.

5. Identify all the conditions and requirements to be in place when the consolidation and transfer proceeds; this may include covenants and statutory building schemes, development agreements, development permit area designation, and conditions for exclusion from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

6. Conduct the legal survey of the consolidation and resubdivision, except for final registration.

7. Obtain conditional exclusion of the required portion of the Spicer Block from the ALR.

8. Survey off the required portion of the Spicer Block.

9. Proceed with the rezoning and development permit area designation on the Spicer Block.

10. If the rezoning and development permit area designation is successful, and at the same instant that they come into force, the following things should happen:

• The required portion of the Spicer Block should come out of the ALR;

• The consolidation and resubdivision of the land between Grey Road and Warren Road should be registered;

• Covenants and development agreements should come into force.

The process set out above is meant to act as a general guide; it is not intended to tie the parties involved to a strict procedure. Some of the steps may occur at different points in the process; some steps may be combined with other steps.

8. Recognize that the Commission commits to considering an application to exclude the parcels lying to the north of Rendell Road upon conclusion of the consolidation of Coldstream Ranch lands and the exclusion of the Spicer Block. The District supports the retention of these lands within the ALR as a buffer and transition to the Spicer Block lands until urban development is contemplated.

9. Recognize that part of the Spicer Block may be required for use as a storm drainage facility.

Coldstream Ratepayers News! All Coldstream residents are ratepayers!

The opinions expressed by "Coldstreamer" are strictly his own and do not represent the opinions of Coldstream Council!

Because I value your thoughtful opinions, I encourage you to add a comment to this discussion. Don't be offended if I edit your comments for clarity or to keep out questionable matters, however, and I may even delete off-topic comments.

Gyula Kiss;


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About Me

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I have been a resident of Coldstream since 1976. I have had 15 years of experience on Council, 3 years as Mayor. As a current Councillor I am working to achieve fair water and sewer rates and to ensure that taxpayers get fair treatment. The current direction regarding water supply is unsustainable and I am doing all I can to get the most cost effective water supply possible.