Huxley Park consultation process starts July

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Monday, April 8 2013

The Huxley Community Park consultation process will be starting this summer, as the Regional District of Nanaimo seeks input from stakeholders of the park and the community of Gabriola at large on what the island’s vision for Huxley Park is.

The initial process was outlined by RDN staff at the Gabriola Parks and Open Spaces Committee (POSAC) meeting this past Tuesday night.

The RDN has established a budget for the consultation process of $10,000.

The first meetings are scheduled for this July, including a review by the Gabriola Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee, stakeholder Interviews, an open house and an online survey.

Along with members of the public, different organizations and government agencies, the RDN is looking for anyone else who might want to participate. 

So far the tennis and hockey players, along with the Huxley Park Association, Gabriola Youth, Commons Foundation, Gabriola Recreation Society and Hope Centre have signed on to the process.

Full schedule of the consultation is on the RDN website at www.rdn.bc.ca. 

Regional Director for Area B Howard Houle said, “There are at least three phases planned with a lot of community consultation. 

“We are going to survey the property right away. That will involve not only the property lines, but also where things are,” (tennis court, road hockey, basketball, trails, et cetera).

Elaine McCulloch, parks planner for Gabriola (and all the other electoral areas), said there is money in the budget to hire a consultant to help with the process, but it will be her and RDN staff who meet with the public.

POSAC member Megan Dickinson asked if things like a draft vision would be provided at the start by Elaine for comment from POSAC and the public.

Elaine said what she typically does is start with a lot of concepts thrown out to the public and POSAC in the first round of meetings and then with what is returned, she comes up with a draft plan.

“At the second one they give me comment back on what they think of that.

“In this case, POSAC will be key for this. You guys are it, we don’t have an advisory committee for this. I’ll be depending on you for this.”

Notices are planned to be booked in to the Sounder this spring with meeting dates and notifications.

Also in attendance were POSAC member Randy Young and the newest POSAC member Jim Phillipoff.