Council decides Summerland Rodeo Grounds Master Plan needs closer look

Rodeo vision not aligning

Summerland district council tabled the future of the Rodeo Grounds Master Plan for further discussion on Tuesday, finding the long-term vision for the property prepared by a consulting team does not align with their ideas.

The master plan is being created to outline the overall management of the municipal park over a 15-year period, creating a framework for district decision-making with respect to park operations and maintenance.

The grounds are a 74-acre special-purpose park facility with two riding rings, grandstands, animal stalls, a clubhouse, a seasonal concession cook shack, a seasonal washroom building with showers and large open spaces owned by the district.

Two rounds of community engagement to get involved in the rodeo grounds master planning process were completed over the past year, getting feedback from residents, visitors and local groups on what they hope to see.

Coun. Richard Barkwill said at Tuesday's meeting that he had concerns over a range of details included in the plan, especially as someone who owns horses and understands where issues could arise.

“The best I could say is maybe we could have a roll-up-the-sleeves committee in the whole discussion and talk about some of these things. But otherwise, for me, it’s a thumbs down as it is now,” he said.

Mayor Doug Holmes added to the point, noting the main issue is it is important for council to decide whether this is to be a primarily equine facility with multi-use aspects incorporated, or a primarily multi-use facility with equine aspects.

“I lean towards it being an equine facility, that it can be developed and put Summerland on that map for that,” he said. “I think it's a bit too much of a multi-use facility."

Council voted to receive the report with a direction to bring it back for further discussion in a future Committee of the Whole meeting.

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