You know trouble is on the horizon when former City of Nanaimo Councillor Loyd Sherry has to come and speak to council. The last time Sherry addressed council was two years ago regarding the Colliery Dam issue which has become a major public relations disaster and a financial boondoggle. Now we have Georgia Park ready to be given away.
The following are the main highlights from Sherry’s presentation to Nanaimo council on Monday, September 8, 2014:
“…You are proposing to close a lane and dispose of it. Does the community know what’s happening? I look at this laneway and it butts right up next to the park…If you have a big building next the park, it creates a big shadow in the park and something that should be considered.
“…I understand that the developer wants to get the laneway so that his building can encroach into the laneway. If that is true then when will there be a public hearing [for the laneway disposition]?”
Swabey: “…The public hearing was last Thursday and we have to be careful about crossing over into the land use issues…”
Sherry: “I am not talking about what happened last Thursday. I am talking about what’s coming down the road. My understanding is that the laneway has a different legal description that is another subject than last Thursday. So therefore, it is a different kettle of fish, it should (without clarification from Victoria) require another public hearing. If this is the avenue that this council is going to take.
“My objection is when you look at that lane there is room beside the development to run a vehicle back and forth. Why does the park need to leased out? Well, because the roadway is going to be taken up by the building. Don’t sell the laneway. You have it right there. The price that has been suggested of less than a half million dollars …when was the last time they made waterfront property…that property is more valuable than was suggested…
“…Bylaw 735 shows the dedication of Georgia Park. That document is in existence. The bylaw has not been rescinded. Previous councils fought tooth and nail to dedicate parks so they could not be sold.
What is the difference—leasing and selling? Oh, pardon me, we are not ‘selling’ it we are ‘leasing’ it. What is the difference? I heard they were talking about an 80 year lease… I request you do some serious consideration about giving up this lane away…
There is a canoe there [in the park] where did the canoe come from? … At the open house I asked what are you going to do with the canoe? City staff said they would take it down to Maffeo Park. I find that hard because when the canoe was donated to the City it fronted on Front Street and always has…not hidden away down in the gully by the beach….There were war canoe races in the past and the grass was always full of people… I enjoy the parks… The Gyros created parks… What are you doing? What view is there going to be for people? …. Previous mayors will roll over in their graves if you go ahead with something like this…”
This is an election year— email firstname.lastname@example.org let them know you want parks for people and/or start a petition and help Nanaimo save Georgia Park.