Letter: Who should name a park?

Concern over naming rights for a south Okanagan park

The RDOS has received an application to amend the community plan and zoning designation in order to facilitate a subdivision to create five residential lots and one conservation lot in Area A (rural Osoyoos)

Rural residents should carefully consider all aspects of this development and ensure that their rights are being protected before this goes through.

Despite the fact the people of Heritage Hills contributed $1 million to the enhancement of a park when a new multi-housing development was allowed by the RDOS for Heritage Hills in Area D, the RDOS gave naming rights to the included park to the developer who named it for a person who helped him with his financing.

If the developer wanted naming rights he should have paid for these amenities.

Doug Lychak of the Heritage Hills Homeowners Association pointed out the battle over the park name had been in the making since the early 1990s when at the time the RDOS board of the day opted to take cash from the original developer in lieu of a required donation of parkland.

Lychak said the homeowners’ group learned through a freedom of information request that the RDOS settled on a $44,000 cash payment at a time when lots in the development were selling for $100,000 or more.

“I find that incredible,” said Lychak, a former Surrey city manager. “I worked in local government for over 30 years and I never saw anything that egregious”

He also noted the RDOS signed an agreement — described by Lychak as a “get-out-of-jail-free letter” — that excused the developer from having to provide any parkland in subsequent phases of the project.

Make sure the RDOS is working for in your interests. Heritage Hills found out too late that was the last thing on the mind of the majority of the directors of the RDOS.

Elvena Slump

Penticton

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