The Kangaroo Creek Farm wants to move out of Lake Country.
The Regional District of the Central Okanagan gave its support to the farm’s proposal to move from Lake Country to Old Vernon Road near the airport, during a regular district meeting May 28.
The proposed site on Old Vernon Road is currently undeveloped and has not been used for agricultural purposes for years, according to a report which was presented to the regional district.
Kelowna International Airport staff has no objections to the proposal and Kelowna engineering staff has also given its support pending the driveway’s location remains opposite of Postill Drive, there’s sufficient on-site parking and there’s no off-site parking on Old Vernon Road.
The new site will allow for increased parking space, as well as room to expand as the kangaroo farm continues to grow, owner Caroline MacPherson said.
The farm will use 11 of the 55-acre property. The proposed site can also house up to 400 cars.
At the farm’s current location, about 400 people walk through the site per day during its shoulder months. During peak season, the farm experiences as many as 4,000 people per day, the report said. The updated parking spaces will allow for future growth and will accommodate larger vehicles like buses and campers.
The lease that accounts for three-quarters of the current farm’s location is also for up for sale for development, and there’s no guarantee that the parking near the A&W or the district-owned parking spots will be available in the future, MacPherson said.
“Even with the issue of the land being sold wasn’t in the mix, we would still be in a tenure situation and we would be still looking to move,” she said. “It was land of the right flavour, one of the things that people appreciate is that it’s rural.”
The new property already has a farmhouse, which will be revitalized as part of a picnic area. The new location will also have multiple pastures with a picnic area.
It’s is also ideal for easy access to the highway with multiple points of access along Old Vernon Road, she said.
Although noise concerns were brought up by the airport in the report, MacPherson believes the animals won’t be affected.
“We get almost as much noise where we are now because of the flight paths with the planes directly overhead.”
Lake Country residents have been supportive, she said.
“While they’re sad to be leaving the community, it’s only going to be five minutes down the street.”
The proposal will have to be approved by the Agricultural Land Commission before the farm can move.
MacPherson said the goal is to move the farm before May long weekend in 2020.