The CRD Parks 2013 draft interim plan for Island View Beach
Concern has already been expressed at the misleading claims in the 2013 draft interim plan released by CRD Parks see here
In addition there are equally serious concerns over the drafting style. The concerns being that key intentions of the plan would not be apparent to the average person reading the document, yet like a bread crumb trail there was just enough there that if there were protests in the future, CRD Parks staff would be able to point to something in the draft that by itself conveyed little meaning, but which placed into context might support a claim it had been disclosed.
Links to the existing park plan of 1989; to the Cordova Strategy, and to the 2013 draft interim plan can be found here
These are some examples where it is felt the draft style masked the true intention of the plan:
1. The north toilet block
The plan says at page 45 "The north restroom facility will be maintained during the interim plan period."
Does this mean CRD park staff intended to remove the north toilet block after the interim plan period? If not, then why this sentence? If they intended to remove the toilet block then why not come out and say it?
2. The public boat launch.
The public boat launch is not in the park boundaries and the CRD has no jurisdiction over it.
The average reader of the draft plan would not know that CRD Parks staff want to see the public boat launch removed. See the commentary here
3. CRD parks staff intend reduce the public recreation area from 16.5% to 2.6%!
The draft plan said that 8% of the park would be zoned for public recreation. This is misleading in two ways:
- the 8% includes the camp ground areas which the general public have no access to. The true area proposed as public recreation was only 2.6%.
- the plan does not disclose that currently, with the campground included, the area zoned for public recreation is 22% of the park, or 16.5% excluding the camp ground, and the proposed plan intended reducing this to 8% & 2.6% Nowhere in the plan can this be found - it only shows by comparing the zoning plans of the current park by;law and the proposed new plan. This is the bread crumb they left behind at page 48 to say "we told you!":
The development concept for Island View Beach Regional Park is to keep the park natural and undeveloped and to ensure minimal visitor impacts to the park environment while maintaining a compatible, high-quality visitor experience. Park development will be concentrated in the southern part of the park, in conformance with current conditions (see Map 8).
4. There was no certainty in the plan - overriding powers would have been left to the discretion of CRD park staff
- at page 55 CRD parks gave themselves the right to change the plan whenever they wanted, and only if in their mind if it was a "significant" change would they discuss it with the public.
- and at page 43 CRD staff allowed themselves the option at any future time to designate areas to be a Cultural Heritage Zone or Environmental Protection Zone, and that those zones would take precedence over everything else.
The public assume there is no hunting in public parks, but CRD park staff refused to put a "No Hunting" provision in the park plan such as there is in the current bylaw. They claim it is not needed because there are other provisions in place relating to CRD parks, but those other provisions only ban recreational hunting. See discussion here
Is it the intention of CRD Park staff to allow non-recreational hunting in the park?
6. Dogs in the park
See the discussion here. It is believed that CRD park staff intend to use the claim of "Environmental Protection" to close off areas or limit access to dogs. Again bread crumbs were scattered through the plan that could be pointed to later as "we told you!".