Expansion plan means a lot less park
Re: “Objections to Duncan Manor expansion unjustified”
Joe, thanks for the opportunity to set the record straight. Here are the facts.
Fact 1: Rationale
Joe assumes that the reason to use public park land and green space is to keep the housing complex close to community facilities. The fact is we don’t know what the rationale is, we haven’t been told.
Fact 2: Green Space Reduced
Joe states that Centennial Park, the parking lot and lawn bowling venue will still be there. The fact is that there are two six-storey buildings planned, not one as Joe suggests. One is on 1st Street, where the current facility is located and a second one that will encroach on public park land and green space. Joe says, the park, parking and green space will still exist. Yes some of it will but there will be a lot less usable park and green space. The reality is that Centennial Park and the surrounding green space will be significantly altered and reduced because of the encroachment of the six-storey building into the park and the relocation of parking stalls to the green space at the north end of the park where there will be a new 2nd Street entrance.
Fact 3: A Few Lawn Bowlers vs Many Daily Park Users
The Duncan Housing Society owns the lawn bowling land. The city owns the park land. A Memorandum of Understanding between City Council and the Duncan Housing Society outlines an agreement to swap land. The city will give up park land; the DHS will give up a “portion of the lawn bowling club” but the fact is that the lawn bowling club will carry on and not be disturbed. In other words, the lawn bowling club is a priority over hundreds and hundreds of grandparents, parents, children and individuals from all over the Cowichan Valley who use the only park in the area all year long.
Fact 4: Park vs Pavement
The City council will tell you that “the MOU does not….guarantee…approvals” but it also states that the parties “intend to proceed.” It’s clear which way the wind is blowing and the direction in which the council is leaning. Parks can’t speak, people can. Now is the time for the people to speak up. If people don’t speak up for their park before decisions are made, the park and green space in its present form will not be there when people come to enjoy it. Instead there will be a six storey building and pavement.
The Alternative is in Front of their Eyes
If DHS or the city wants to build a second housing complex either find and fund the purchase of another parcel of land or build it on the land that DHS already owns — the lawn bowling land — not our park land.