What's happening on Munson Mountain?

What’s Happening on Munson Mountain?

On April 4th, 2016, City Council approved a zoning and OCP amendment to 630 Munson Mountain Road to change the designation from Agricultural to Parks and Recreation.

The Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) has approved a non-farm use, subject to a set of seven conditions meant to ensure that the use is respectful of adjacent agricultural operations and does not diminish the future agricultural capability of the lands:

  1. The BMX track is to be reoriented on a north / south alignment
  2. No asphalt paving of the track surface is permitted
  3. Fencing and a vegetative buffer on the northerly escarpment of the property is to be installed
  4. The remainder of the property is to be graded and seeded with an alfalfa/clover mix to improve soil tilth, or develop the remainder into a community garden
  5. Restrict uncontrolled access to the track
  6. Rescind the previous resolution permitting sports fields on the property
  7. The track must be developed within three (3) years of the date of decision.  The BMX Club has reviewed the conditions and is still in support of the relocation to 630 Munson Mountain Road.

After considering multiple locations for a new site for the Penticton BMX Club, city staff is recommending  the subject property as the proposed new site.

Why is this site the most desirable for the BMX Club?

City staff feel that this location is the most desirable location as the size and location of the lot provide less land use conflict than multiple other sites that were considered.  The site is undeveloped and unused; there is ample space for parking and the track;  treated and untreated water is available.

As well, this site was originally purchased with the intent of constructing sports facilities. The park use is consistent with the neighbouring recreationally zoned Munson Mountain Park.

Why not use the land as agricultural land?  Is the area environmentally fragile?

The subject lands are located in the Agricultural Land Reserve and are currently zoned for Agriculture. The property though, according to an independent agricultural assessment, would require significant investment to make the land viable for high value agricultural production. The site features large amounts of unknown fill. Part of the ALC decision requires the planting of alfalfa and clover and irrigating the unused portions of the land to improve the agricultural potential of the land.

The lands are not in an environmentally sensitive area.   

Is this site protected by a Heritage Designation?

630 Munson Mountain Road is not identified in Canada’s Register of Historic Places nor covered by a Heritage Designation.  A bylaw amendment and proposed BMX track would not have an adverse impact of the heritage designation of the land to the west and southwest.  

The City of Penticton is aware of a heritage designation for 650 Lower Bench Road.  This is held on Canada’s Register of Historic Places and relates to Munson Mountain as a prominent hill which stands out from the surrounding benchland, offering panoramic views.  The principal reason for 650 Lower Bench Road to be included in the register is due to the presence of the “PENTICTON” sign.

The register entry goes on to state that the current category and type for the land is for leisure and park purposes.

A bylaw amendment and proposed BMX track would not have an adverse impact of the heritage designation of the land to the west and southwest. 

Why does the club need to move?

Since the city leased the current location to the BMX Club in 1989, the area to the east of the track has seen significant multifamily development.  The proximity of the track to these residences is affecting the use and enjoyment of property owners.  The BMX Club has been diligent in their efforts to minimize the impacts to the neighbors, however due to the nature and proximity of the BMX activities the potential for conflict remains.

As well, according to the BMX Club, the current track size limits the potential of the club to attract and retain members, train for competitive racing and host national level events.  The Penticton track is the smallest track in the circuit. The club also need more parking.

Would a BMX Club on Munson Mountain be noisy?

We suppose it would be as noisy as any other park with children playing. Bikes are all pedal bikes, no motorized bikes are allowed.  There will be a buffer zone of 90 meters between the park and any development. One of the conditions of use that the ALC required was that no uncontrolled access to the track would be permitted. Because of this requirement, there will always be a supervisor on site while the track is in operation.

 Is this site too remote for kids to use?

This site is not as accessible or central within the community as the other short listed opportunities, however, it is not considered a remote site. It’s close proximity to the KVR Trail and the 3 Blind Mice Mountain Biking area may increase the cycling interest in the area.

Would the proposed BMX Park be fenced? Who would have access?

At their cost the BMX Club shall fence the site to a standard suitable to the City of Penticton. The fencing shall be such that a defined entrance and egress is secured.

Times, closures and access are all things that will be a part of additional planning and the city and BMX welcome feedback from the community.

Has the city received any other applications for use of this property?

The City purchased the subject lands with the intention of developing sports fields. That development never materialized. The other two properties purchased for the same purpose have been sold. The subject lands have been retained with ownership for the City for long range strategic purposes. The proximity to Munson Mountain Park is an important factor.

For more information,

Contact  Len Robson, Public Works Supervisor Len.Robson@penticton.ca, 250-490-2543 or Blake Laven, Planning Manager, Blake.Laven@penticton.ca, 250-490-2528.