EDITORIAL: Pay to play at Community Park?

Nearly a century ago, a forward-looking group of pioneers recognized the Parksville beachfront was an asset worth protecting for future generations, and put their money and labour into securing and preserving it as a community park.

Those who oppose encroachment of development in the park today may rest easy, following the release this week of a draft master park plan created by consultants from Vancouver Island University.

The 20-year plan, presented to Parksville’s city council during its regular meeting Monday, recommends some notable changes, including a few certain to generate controversy in the community. But the most notable building project in the 139-page document is not a construction, but a demolition, with the Parksville Curling Club potentially on the chopping block if a new curling facility can be built in another location.

The public gets its chance to review the draft plan on Oct. 28, when the VIU consultants and city staff host an open house at the Parksville Community and Conference Centre, and we encourage everyone to take a look and have their say.

Among the 60-plus recommendations in the draft plan are the suggestion of a new name for the park; establishing a meaningful recognition of First Nations; and improving park and beach access for the mobility-challenged.

As for infrastructure, the draft plan suggests the possibility of a public square with formalized food service and seating to replace or supplement the food trucks that currently serve park visitors; a maintenance/storage shed in the treed area near the picnic shelter; and connecting the end of Beachfront Drive to the park entrance.

These concepts were developed in hundreds of hours of interviews with both local residents and tourists, as well as picnic table meetings and “World Café” events, over the course of nine months.

It’s unclear how many of those people volunteered to contribute user fees, but that is one of the recommendations of the draft plan sure to get a spirited response. Shaw argued that the park is being “loved to death” and fees would help offset infrastructure and maintenance costs.

Mayor Marc Lefebvre noted the park’s founders raised and spent what was then a considerable sum to purchase the park property, and residents have supported it with their tax dollars ever since.

Has the time come for the park’s users to ante up an additional share?

— Parksville Qualicum Beach News

Just Posted

RDN seeks guidance for Area F projects

Five-year Project Plan to be updated

Remains of two people found in Ucluelet

Officials have not said whether or not the remains belong to Ryan Daley or Dan Archbald

B.C. turns up the heat

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement for most the province due to high temperatures

RDN to create conceptual designs for fire halls

Committee endorses standardization design of buildings

Oceanside RCMP asking for help in finding teen

Isaiah Taylor may be in Qualicum Beach, Tofino or Victoria

VIDEO: Seaside Cruizers Show and Shine in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Hot rods, American muscle and more featured June 15-17

Coastal Community expands wealth services presence in Qualicum Beach

New offices are located in heart of Qualicum Beach’s business district

Cheers erupt as Federal Court judge approves historic gay purge settlement

Gay military veterans said they were interrogated, harassed and spied on because of their sexuality

Helping B.C.’s helpers cope

The MRT has helped almost 7,000 first responders and street workers in 57 communities in B.C.

Border officials argue B.C. man’s Facebook posts threat to Canada’s security

A B.C. Supreme Court judge acquitted Othman Hamdan of terrorism charges last September

Reena Virk’s mother has died

Both of Virk’s parents became activists against bullying in wake of daughter’s death

Search for capsized fishers near Tofino enters fourth day

“There’s a lot of shock in the community in terms of how we could end up at this place.”

B.C. announces $75M to help friends, family care for seniors at home

Funding will go towards respite care and adult day programs

Timely tide attracts another pod of orcas to Victoria

The pod left the harbour about 30 minutes later

Most Read