Two new neighbourhood associations are in the process of forming in Kamloops, with residents in Dufferin and along Shubert Drive organizing.
Dufferin resident Kam Johal said the area is growing, with significant development spanning toward Kenna Cartwright Park. Residents want a playground built for kids in that area.
“Dufferin has pretty much exploded,” Johal said. “Lots of homes going up, lots going on. It would be such a great idea if we had a playground up here.”
Johal also sees the association as a way to bring together area residents, expand recreational activities and advocate for expansion of the elementary school.
City of Kamloops community development co-ordinator Ben Chobater said neighbourhood associations are beneficial for communication, bringing together neighbours with events like block parties and garage sales and to engage in projects in their respective areas.
The two new groups in the process of forming will bring the city’s neighbourhood association tally to 18.
Some neighbourhoods have long-established associations, while downtown, Batchelor Heights, Brock and Aberdeen formed in recent years.
The McDonald Park Neighbourhood Association was active for a long time but was then on hiatus, until a new group rekindled about a year and a half ago. That group is working with the city on a proposed dog park for McDonald Park.
Chobater said neighbourhood association gaps in the city include the areas of Upper Sahali, from Summit Drive to the highway, and central North Kamloops, in the Eighth Street area. Associations also exist in Barnhartvale, Westsyde and Heffley Creek.
“That would be almost every area,” Chobater said.
The city has supported neighbourhood associations for more more than a decade, providing support and start-up funds up to $500.
The city has also been holding open houses in neighbourhoods. So far, the city has met with residents in Valleyview, Juniper Ridge/Rose Hill and Barnhartvale.
About 65 people turned up to the Valleyview meeting to discuss, among other topics, the Valleyview corridor safety study, which the city hired a consultant to complete.
One of the findings from that study did not sit well with Valleyview residents — the planned routing of trucks to and from the Owl Road Kamloops Resource Recovery Centre via Vicars Road.
City of Kamloops environmental services manager Glen Farrow said the recommendation comes because that route is the shortest distance to the highway, as required by the city’s bylaws, and avoids the school zone around Valleyview secondary.
One suggestion was to direct trucks along Oriole Road, however that route would be longer and go through the school zone.
Asked about the busy Vicars Road intersection, Farrow said traffic flows north onto the highway and will be the safest route for trucks.
The next neighbourhood meeting will be for McDonald Park on May 6, with subsequent neighbourhoods to meet through the fall.
Johal is inviting Dufferin residents to join the new association by calling 250-574-7601 or emailing email@example.com.
Residents in the Upper Sahali and central North Kamloops areas who wish to start up neighbourhood associations in those areas can contact Chobater by calling 250-828-3582 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chobater said residents can start off slow, by creating a Facebook page and grow.
“It’s little steps, type of thing,” he said.