EDITORIAL – Heritage House parking lot should be off limits to development

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

KEEPING AN open mind is usually a good thing, but not always.

Kamloops City council got a surprise yesterday when resident Ruth Madsen let the cat out of the bag during public inquiries at the council’s weekly meeting about a proposed development.

According to Madsen, someone had told her about an in-camera discussion by council of a plan to build a two-story, 35,000 sq. ft. farmers market in the Heritage House parking lot.

Apparently, the proposal has also become known among certain community groups, but nothing official has been made public.

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Mel Rothenburger’s Armchair Mayor editorials appear Mondays through Thursdays on CFJC- TV. His Armchair Mayor column is published Saturdays on and CFJC Today. Contact him at

About Mel Rothenburger (6745 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

4 Comments on EDITORIAL – Heritage House parking lot should be off limits to development

  1. We have a city administration that just does not get the importance of early public consultation on important public issues. No wonder major proposals run into a firestorm of opposition. Keeping things behind closed doors is a sure way to fire up opponents. (Couldn’t they imagine that the Heritage lot would be a lightning rod)? Anticipating the usual vocal suspects, our city prefers to get its ducks in a row, with the privileged stakeholders, and then tries to rush things through past the goal post (the failed PAC springs to mind). Let’s have broad input and early, full consultation (including from voices they may not like and a few even tiresome). We have a great city, but it’s time to reflect on why large proposals so often turn into public brawls with no end of rancor, name-calling and the inevitable waste of public funds.

  2. Bob Gamble // April 25, 2018 at 1:47 PM // Reply

    Council and the Administration decided it was not in the public interest for the residents to know what was being considered for Riverside Park. Land owned by the residents, governed by a Council elected by residents and administered by an administration paid by the residents.

    City Council and the City Hall Administration should be ashamed for the condescending manner Kamloops’ residents are being treated.

    There are provisions in the Community Charter allowing for meeting behind closed doors. Reasons permitted for holding closed meetings are often referred to as the three “L’s”, land. legal or labour. If the topic is any of the “L’s”, then it might be advisable to move behind closed doors. It not hard to understand if a developer is considering a project; the less the competition knows the better. There would have been no harm in Council and the Administration being up front. In this case the closed meeting was simply to hide information from the residents – very upsetting.

    Thank goodness Ms. Madsen “… let the cat out of the bag”.

  3. Here we go again, and the fact that council was trying to keep it a secret is ridiculous. Just where are people supposed to park after they do this ? Where will customers of the market park ? It is so far past time to completely replace this council with someone that can stand up to city staff , and their fanciful ideas. This idea should never of made it to more than one council meeting, the one where council told staff to back off of the stupid ideas. Why do we need a year round farmers market, when they , as far as I know, will have nothing to sell 6 or 7 months of the year ?

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