Turner Park is officially open to the public as of today.
The park, located in the Princeton neighbourhood at 6114 Turner Ave., was purchased by the district last October for $3.1 million.
Ownership of the lands exchanged today and Cheryl Wiebe, director of community services, was on location with parks staff this morning to help ready the town’s newest park for the public.
“It is considered an undeveloped park,” Wiebe told the View. “What that means is yes, it is open to the public, but it is subject to incidental hazards. Our regular community parks like Heritage we pretty much get our eyes on every single day but an undeveloped park we deal with as hazards arise. So, we’re here today to mark off known hazards and fix anything we can to make the amenities here reasonably safe and then after that we’re going to be relying on the public to advise us if there are problems.”
Turner Park is not an off-leash dog park. The park is dog-friendly but dogs must be on leash. Community consultation will begin this summer to determine how the park will be developed for future use.
The municipality plans to embark on a parks planning process that will involve some community consultation to determine what use the park will have, said Wiebe.
“That plan will help guide where irrigation will go, if we get more play features up here, will it be a ball diamond or will it be something else,” said Wiebe.
“I expect there will be some online information available and I also suspect we’ll be able to do some outside public open house type thing, similar to what we did when we did the parks plan for Sanderson, Heritage and Cousins Parks. People will have a chance to have a say on what they want and also see what we’ve heard because of course, there are multitudes of opinions,” Wiebe said. “We also like to take whatever our final response is back to the community to make sure we heard correctly.”
The 3.34 hectare (8.26 acre) property was purchased by School District #23 in 1976 from the Turner family as a future school site. The District of Peachland obtained permission in 1979 to utilize the property until the land was required for school purposes or disposed of by the school district.
The municipality made an offer to purchase from the school district in 2006 and was outbid by the previous owners, SSC Ventures.
SSC Ventures had applied for rezoning to develop single and multiple family residences but instead listed the property for sale last September.
Peachland’s budget deliberations for 2021 are still ongoing, but at the last budget briefing council was looking at a $100 Turner Park parcel tax to service the debt associated with the park purchase. The parcel tax would continue through the next five years, when servicing of the debt comes to an end. The net impact to each parcel would be $74.16, as it would be offset by a decrease of $25.84 to the general capital asset renewal parcel tax. The remaining parcel taxes are expected to stay the same.