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District of Peachland, B.C., buys land to preserve park

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The District of Peachland has made a deal to buy land at 6114 Turner Avenue, historically referred to as Turner Park.

The District will take ownership of the land on March 30, 2021.

A park plan, which will include public consultation, will be developed to determine future park uses and maintenance.

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“Council is pleased to deliver on the community’s desire to re-gain access to this former public space,” Mayor Fortin said in a news release.

A recent petition urged Peachland Council to purchase the land to protect it from development.

The 3.4-hectare park was purchased by School District 23 from the Turner family in 1976.

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The District of Peachland was given permission to use the property for park purposes until a school was built, but a school was never built on the site.

SSC Ventures outbid the District of Peachland to purchase it in 2006 with plans to have the property re-zoned for residential use, but eventually backed away from developing and put the land up for sale for $3.5 million.

The District of Peachland secured the land for $3.1 million.

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“I am pleased we can secure the Turner Park site for generations to come,” Fortin said.

The purchase is being funded by short-term borrowing from the Municipal Finance Authority and will be repaid with money in the Parkland Acquisition Reserve Fund, as well as the potential resale of the lower portion of the property that fronts Princeton Avenue.

The purchase is important, because Turner Park is one of the only remaining undeveloped properties in Peachland that is suitable for athletic fields and other park amenities.

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