Downtown lacks vision

I just recently moved to Vernon and I have a few observations I feel compelled to make. In terms of how the city is managing (not managing) the development of the Downtown to support the downtown merchants and make a vibrant inner city core.

Before I begin, I am fully aware of the increasing crime in the downtown areas which deters both businesses and shoppers however I find Vernon is doing more - but still more has to be done in redirecting those to other areas which is where the bylaw enforcers have proved effective (but we have to still do our part and notify).

I have written the mayor as to why more has not be done to attract developers specifically to the downtown - to have high-rise apartments built on streets adjacent or on the downtown strip. If you see what is happening in Kamloops/Kelowna - these city councils have taken full advantage of the pandemic and encouraged massive building projects creating both employment and stimulating the downtown economy.

Vernon needs more high-rise affordable housing to fill a huge housing void. Secondly, this population would be within walking distance supporting downtown merchants. As it standing today - it appears every third downtown business is closed largely to the fault of this and former councils.

There is enough building within walking distance to Walmart, etc - lets give our small businesses a long overdue here and start building! (Or has this city turned away too many developers due to ridiculously slow building permits, and needless red tape?)

The way I see it this city with their ridiculous archaic parking meters spend more money paying bylaw officers to give parking tickets than do the job they were elected to do - and that was to guide Vernon’s development so that our very vital small businesses get a break and have an attractive downtown core to draw in the public - especially through well planned high rise developments so sorely needed in the downtown core.

As an aside - it was so obvious that in attempts to mask your city’s embarrassing rate of downtown business closures - you just “had” to move the Service Canada building onto your Main Street , really, how pathetic instead of moving it to another block. This is your version of your city’s vision, filling downtown areas with government buildings, how utterly stupid!

Linda Albert, Vernon

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