KXA in, but waterpark on hold for Tournament Ranch

Approval to exclude land from the Agricultural Land Reserve for an exhibition site for Kamloops Exhibition Association (KXA)

By Andrea Klassen

Kamloops This Week

Plans to build a destination waterpark at Kamloop’s Tournament Capital Ranch have hit a snag, but the project is not dead yet.

Parks, recreation and cultural services director Byron McCorkell told council on Tuesday the province’s Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) has signed off on some of its plans for the ranch lands, but needs more information on the waterpark proposal, including a more detailed layout.

“They’re prepared to review that if and when we bring that back and we’re talking to the proponent around that,” McCorkell said.

The city plans to lease 11.5 hectares of the 72-hectare ranch to a private developer for the waterpark project.

The ALC did give the nod to a request to exclude land from the Agricultural Land Reserve for a picnic area and walking trail, and for an exhibition site for the Kamloops Exhibition Association (KXA).

McCorkell said in order to move forward, the ALC wants the city to rezone all of the ranch lands for agricultural use instead of public space, start farming on 28 hectares of the land already earmarked for food production and complete a plan with the KXA for its portion of the site.

The KXA plans to construct several buildings on the site to host trade, agricultural and rodeo events and already has ALC permission to host some rodeo events, including the recent B.C. High School Rodeo Finals, in advance of construction.

McCorkell said the city will put out a request for proposals for the food production portion of the ranch and has invited community gardening groups and its own farm incubator program to submit ideas.

Staff will have a revised plan to re-submit to the ALC in the fall.