The Alternate Approval process is in effect for the Recreation and Activity Centre. It proposes a Bylaw to borrow $241 Million mainly for the redevelopment of the Parkinson Recreation Centre and to a much lesser amount, the construction of the Glenmore Activity Centre, Mission Activity Centre and Rutland Sports fields.
As a neighbourhood association, we found it important to ask questions about what we can expect in the Pandosy area.
The city's justification for the expense is largely based on a Postcard-coded survey. This survey asked, "How far are you willing to travel (one way) by car or bus to use indoor recreation facilities before travel becomes a barrier to participating". The results showed that 74% of the public are willing to travel up to 20 minutes.
Results show confirmation bias since they were not differentiated by postal code or area of town the response came from. Also, the distance travelled in 20 minutes by car is not the same as the time and transfers for a bus. (Google estimates the same distance takes almost 3 times as long by bus compared to a car.) Above all, no question was asked as to the amount of time respondents would be willing to walk or cycle to a facility and whether it would be preferred.
Considering Pandosy is one of 5 urban centers' and by definition specific to Urban Centres in Chapter 4 of the 2040 Official Community Plan, they are intended to be a "walkable urban place" and provide a "high quality of life to residents and workers". Of all the urban centres, Pandosy is specifically mentioned as lacking community facilities. At the same time, parking requirements in residential buildings are being reduced and public transit is not improved. All this means the Pandosy residents will have difficulty accessing appropriate community facilities for many years to come.
Even though we feel Pandosy is densifying and growing rapidly, future growth is projected to be just over 1000 units, far behind 2000 expected in Rutland and 1800 in Glenmore. We question this number considering the large developments of Aqua, Movala and the Ledge.
We have asked and been given some hope of future recreation facilities being available in Okanagan College although the priority would of course be for their students. We have also been given hope of a small community meeting space being included in the Paddle Centre which is yet to be funded and built.
City planning considers the Pandosy area to be better served for recreation facilities than many other neighbourhoods in the City, located as it is midway between Mission and Parkinson Recreation Parks. There is the offer that if funding is approved, the city will reach out to our Neighbourhood Association for input on the type of amenities and programming to be included in the Mission Activity Centre.
There is nothing specifically allocated for Pandosy in the 241 million. Further, there is nothing concrete planned.
We need to know the full vision for amenities for Pandosy and how they will be funded in our fast-growing urban Center before we can be expected to support a facility that costs hundreds millions of dollars outside of our community
According to the roadmap for urban centers in the 2040 OCP, they are intended to be "walkable urban places" and provide a "high quality of life to residents and workers". It explicitly states that South Pandosy's Challenges are: Lack of Community Facilities. It says that mature urban centers include multiple high-quality gathering places, a rich array of services and amenities and a balanced transportation system that prioritizes pedestrian, transit and active transportation modes. Hence moving away from car-centric land use.