Dear Mayor and Council:
One of the agenda items for Council’s Committee of the Whole October 18, 2016 meeting is a report on a Draft Master Plan for the further development of Winegarden Park. I would like to request that Council give consideration to the following issues arising from the report and respond to the following questions:
1.) The Staff Report is positioned as being focused on “upcoming changes to the park in regards to the extension of the waterfront walkway along the George site, and more generally to plan for the future.” What is not mentioned is that a primary reason for this exercise is in order to accommodate the condos portion of the George project and the lack of setbacks allowed between the condos and the Park. Am I correct on this point?
2.) While it is not stated, this Draft Master Plan has been prepared in order to discharge covenants made by the “Owner” (Hyak Marine Services Ltd. and Klaus and Monika Fuerniss) to the Town in the Development Agreement executed. Since that Development Agreement is not yet publicly available, I am attaching it for Councillors’ reference as it is not the same as the public summary available on the Town’s website.
3.) Please note in the Development Agreement (Section 4c) that the Owner has covenanted to provide to the Town “three unique concept plans, prepared by a landscape architect, for relocation of the band shell in the Winegarden Park”. The Draft Master Plan, however, contains only two. When will a third unique concept plan be forthcoming? Will it be before the community meeting to get community input so that the community can compare and comment on all three plans?
4.) Note also that the Staff Report contains a reference to the $100,000.00 to be deposited in the Town’s Community Amenity Reserve Fund (Section 4a of the Development Agreement). It does not, however, reference Section 4b in the Development Agreement that states that the Owner will pay “to the Town a cash contribution in the amount of $5,000.00 for deposit in the Town’s Winegarden Park Planning Fund.” Is there a reason why this sum is not also referenced
5.) As far as I can tell from reading the summary in “Winegarden Park, overview and design considerations” there is a key issue missing that I know was raised by a number of persons in Lower Gibsons – that of ensuring that the band shell is positioned so that it is not facing uphill. Perhaps this was implied under “acoustics-amphitheatre”? In its present position, sound is directed to the north – essentially towards a commercial shopping area. If the band shell were to face west, uphill, musical performances would be blasted up into the residential area, on into the evening. Surely there is a solution that avoids such sound disruption for residents living upslope from Winegarden Park?
6.) On page 6 of the Staff Report, there is a reference (under Communication) to staff organizing “a community meeting to present the plan and to seek input from the community.” The reference in the next sentence to “an Open House style event” in Winegarden Park raises the issue of how accessible this consultative event will be. I understand that walking around in Winegarden Park could be informative. However, the Town appears to have an ongoing practice of staging community consultations as Open Houses without seating. It is not possible for community members who cannot stand for more than brief periods of time to attend and participate in such Open Houses; thus, such members are prevented from participating in important community consultations. Is it not feasible to stage this community meeting in two parts – first in an indoor location with seating and the opportunity to ask questions, and second as a guided tour of Winegarden Park for those who have the mobility to participate?
I trust that Council will give serious consideration to the above points, and I look forward to a response to my questions.
Home owner and tax payer
Dr. Dorothy I. Riddle, CMC
President & CEO
Service-Growth Consultants Inc.