A brief history of Turner Park

The skating rink at Turner Park back in Feb. 2013./file photo

Mar. 1976: The 3.34 hectare site is purchased as a future school site by SD23 from John Turner and Michael Turner for $87,000. Most of the area is cherry orchards.

1979 – 2006: The district has a lease agreement with SD23 to use and occupy Turner Park for the public.

2003: SD23 and Peachland mayor and council enter into discussions about the future of Turner Park. The district is interested in buying the land but can’t agree on the price. The assessment value of the property at the time is $579,000. Later in the year, Peachland gives approval to a construction project that would connect the sanitary sewer to Turner Park.

2005: With no formal offer from the district, SD23 announces that Turner Park will be sold to the highest bidder.

2006: The site is sold for just over $2 million to SSC Ventures, a company owned by three doctors. The sale helps SD23 finance the extension to Mount Boucherie Secondary School. The district has an unwritten agreement with SSC Ventures to continue to allow public use of the property. SSC Ventures proposes to build a huge seniors-orientated residential development that includes six towers up to 70 feet in height, although a small part of the site is to remain as a ballpark. Neighbouring opponents to the proposed development form a society called “Friends of Turner Park.” The society’s efforts prove successful and the first development proposal is dropped.

Sept. 2007: A new proposal is presented to the public for “Panorama Hills: A Campus of Care,” which consists of three separate buildings. It is presented as half assisted living and half independent seniors housing.

Jan. 2008: One of the three doctors who purchased the site, Gary Randhawa, passes away and for a long period of time not much is heard from the developers.

Nov. 2009: A parks and recreation master plan is prepared for Peachland. The report recommends purchasing a replacement for Turner Park.

Mar. 2011: The district formalizes an agreement with SSC Ventures for pubic use of the park.

Dec. 2011: The district agrees to pay an annual park rental fee in the amount of the municipal portion of taxes on the playing field area of the park.

May 2017: A new proposal is submitted, this time for 17 single family residential lots and 11 townhouses for the upper section and six townhouses for the lower section. The residential lots proposed required a change to the zoning bylaw to create a new zone for lots smaller than anything that existed at that time. Despite much opposition at the public hearing, the new proposal is approved by mayor and council, including the new compact lots.

Apr. 2020: Council grants the developer’s request for an extension to complete their rezoning application.

Sept. 2020: The property is listed for $3.5 million and soon resident Daeshel Heidelbach begins a petition, lobbying the district to buy the park.

Oct. 2020: Council authorizes the removal of conditions on Oct. 27 and subsequently the district announces it has approved a land acquisition to preserve Turner Park, with ownership of the lands set to take place on March 30, 2021.

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