Push continues for purchase of Chelsea Estate despite province saying it doesn't have the money

Don't let Chelsea slip away

Despite the province saying it doesn't have the money to purchase Vernon's Chelsea Estate, a petition calling for its addition to Ellison Provincial Park has now topped 13,000 signatures.

Proponents of public acquisition of the 234-acre waterfront estate are urging residents to write to provincial Minister of Environment George Heyman "to proactively seek out all potential partners" that might assist in its purchase.

The prime chunk of real estate made headlines last month when it went up for sale.

It's one of the largest – if not the largest – multi-parcel properties for sale on Okanagan Lake. It is comprised of 11 parcels between Ellison Provincial Park and Predator Ridge Golf Resort and boasts pink sand beaches on private bays, a heritage home, and cottages that were previously used as the Crystal Bay Resort.

The estate was last assessed at $16.5 million.

Making the estate lands part of Ellison Park has been backed by the City of Vernon as well as the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce.

"Ellison Provincial Park and the adjacent Chelsea Estate property still need your help," petition creator Mike Brown said in an email.

"The voices of many are loud and cannot be ignored, and we must send a strong message that this property must be protected for future generations. We were overwhelmed by the support for our petition, but those signatures will not be enough."

The petition had more than 13,100 names as of Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the province has said it does not have the money for the purchase, at least on its own.

Heyman told the chamber: “Should other significant contributors to this acquisition be identified, BC Parks remains prepared to discuss ways in which this property could be acquired for public benefit.”

Brown adds: "Please help us and send your emails to Minister Heyman at [email protected]. Urge him to not let this opportunity slip away."


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