OPEN LETTER: Winegarden Park Master Plan

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE MAYOR AND COUNCIL OF GIBSONS B.C.

Dear Mayor and Council:

Please reference the questionnaire entitled, “WINEGARDEN PARK DRAFT MASTER PLAN”, recently issued to collect input by the citizens of Gibsons on proposed work to Winegarden Park.

Given that the design of the George project has created the necessity for bulk of the work envisioned in the questionnaire to, “integrate our park with the George Hotel project”, which includes the destruction and replacing of the existing band shell, raising of the park walkway as much as 10 feet, loss of the path’s present asphalt- paved surface, (and substitution of this same surface to wheelchair-unfriendly sloping gravel), I question the fairness of asking anyone but the developer to supply funding which is needed to “integrate” our park with a commercial development to the exclusive interest of a few.

I also wonder at the total lack of any estimates of present or future costs excepting the statement that there is not enough money to complete the works, “this funding will likely not cover all presented elements….” and nebulous references in the budget section of the questionnaire, (which uses the conditional form of the verb), and states, “could be funded by a $100,000….contribution from the George…..” This questionnaire, accompanied by rough sketches of the back-of-a-napkin variety and devoid of any budgetary amounts at all, and describing renovations that will exceed any possible available funds by hundreds of thousands, if not millions of dollars precludes anyone from being able to answer the questionnaire intelligently.

In summary:

Given that the developer is planning on the destruction of an existing perfectly good pathway and park amenities to accommodate his project we maintain that if our park needs renovations to make it “integrate” with the George then the onus for the renovation costs should rightfully fall onto that which is causing the “need”, and not onto the present or future taxpayers of Gibsons. Sincerely,

Michael Storr, Gibsons