Rotary Park is good just the way it is; further development not needed

The assurances given that these are all just options for discussion is disingenuous, at best.

Rotary Park is good just the way it is; further development not needed

Rotary Park is good just the way it is; further development not needed

At least twice now the City of Duncan Planning Department has set up displays in the parks, ostensibly seeking input from the public about “possible” upgrades. I have spoken twice with a representative from Planning at those events and she has made it abundantly and explicitly clear that she has a plan already in mind that involves inserting more and different activities into Rotary Park.

She refuses to listen to or consider the option of leaving Rotary Park in its most natural state with only minimal improvements for access. She is adamant that something is going to be done and it has been obvious from our conversations that she is only interested in ideas from the public that fit within her preconceived plan for “more”. The form and content of the “Input Questionnaire” that was distributed, with its loaded and leading statements, confirm this. The assurances given in person that these are all just options for discussion is disingenuous, at best.

She cites a few spurious justifications for developing Rotary Park. First, she says the City is growing and we need to make provision for the increased population. What? Duncan has a limited, defined geographical area. The population may be growing but certainly not by leaps and bounds. The population of North Cowichan is indeed growing but we residents of Duncan rejected amalgamation, yet our Planning department seems to want to plan as though amalgamation had happened.

Second, she says that Rotary park needs to be made more child friendly. Increasing the presence of small children in an off leash dog area is a recipe for problems. What would happen inevitably is that the dog area would be increasingly restricted. Besides, Centennial Park is already minutely planned with amenities specifically designed for children. Every area doesn’t have to be, and shouldn’t try to be, everything for everyone.

Third, she says that everyone has a right to use the park since, after all, they are taxpayers too. That’s true but who is it that wants to use the park in its present state but is being prevented from doing so? I have been walking there everyday for thirteen years and I see a very eclectic mix of people: old and young, fit and disabled, singles and groups, dogs and no dogs. Problems are exceedingly rare.

Fourth, she says more activities in the park means more eyes and that will make the park safer. What? It’s not unsafe now but she says it “might” become unsafe in the future. Yes, from time to time one encounters the occasional homeless person or transient but that happens very infrequently, without incident, and the regular walk throughs by a Commissionaire seems to keep things under control. In fact it happens far less frequently than on the main downtown streets of Duncan.

One can’t help coming to the conclusion that this “public consultation” initiative is nothing but a ruse to create an air of legitimacy for the imposition of a pre-conceived plan for Rotary Park. Once the naturalness of Rotary Park is “developed” and “improved” it will be lost forever and can never be regained. I urge City council to rein in the Planning department on this matter.

McAdam is another matter. It is already developed to a large extent and is a very high activity area. More development there would not be out of place.

Drew Dangerfield

Duncan

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vandals burned a hole in the platform at the top of the Somenos Marsh Open Air Classroom early on the morning of Thursday, April 22. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson closes Somenos Marsh viewing platform

Fletcher estimates the damage at more than $5,000.

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
BCCDC says fresh COVID-19 cases down in most Island Health areas

Nanaimo sees its fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

More sleeping cabins for the homeless in the Cowichan Valley could soon be put in place if a $2.5-million grant application to the UBCM Strengthening Communities’ Services funding program is successful. (File photo)
Funding sought to expand homeless initiatives in Cowichan Valley

$2.5-million grant would see more sleeping cabins and outreach projects

The old Stanley Gordon school in Lake Cowichan. (Lexi Bainas/Gazette file)
Editorial: Old school properties represent potential for our areas

There are opportunities, often sitting right in the middle of our small communities.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial: Victim left to conclude out-of-court settlement on the day he disappeared

Trial of Richard Alexander in death of John Dillon Brown continues in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria

Most Read