Regional District of North Okanagan directors have agreed to rezoning a large parcel of BX Ranch Land bought last year.
The rezoning will change the use of 137 acres at 4122 East Vernon Road from country residential to large holdings.
Board Chair Bob Fleming calls it a down-zoning.
“It’s going from Country residential which is two hectares or five acres, to large holdings which is a much larger size, a farm-oriented size.”
That was one of the conditions RDNO agreed to with the Agricultural Land Commission when it bought 166 acres of BX Ranch last year.
The remaining 36.5 acres is to be used to create a trail between BX Ranch and Mutrie Park.
RDNO bought the site on East Vernon Road for $2.3 million last year.
Meantime, a citizens group is looking to keep all of BX Ranch Land in public hands.
Terry Donnelly from the 14 member group says the larger 137 acre parcel should be kept public, perhaps for an agricultural park.
“We look at that land, it’s in such a strategic location for the community as a whole, not just the BX, but also Vernon, and we would really like them to reconsider the selling of it.”
Donnelly says selling the land would not be in the best public interest.
“Both Vernon and Coldstream would like to get their money back out of it to invest in parks in their jurisdictions, but to my way of thinking, the jurisdiction isn’t as important as serving the populace with open green space.”
Donnelly says there are four elementary schools reasonably close to the property and Vernon Secondary is within walking distance of one corner of the property.
“This is a community asset that could really help in the education of our kids.”
RDNO chair Bob Fleming says the goal is to keep it as green space farm land — in as large a holding as possible.
Photo of BX Ranch Land courtesy of YouTube