It was with great pleasure that I read the newspaper reports (Penticton Western News, May 12, City shifts direction on Parks and Rec Master Plan) about the Parks and Recreation Master Plan committee meeting last Thursday at city hall.
I have since then also spoken again with Peter Weeber, the city chief administration officer and other staff and members of the group of people involved in creating a revised and hopefully, acceptable final copy of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
It was encouraging to read that an agreement of co-operation and working together of all directly involved: city staff, members of park preservation groups, committee members and many interested members of the public, was agreed on.
My interest lies mainly in protecting our parks from commercialization and it has been my concern that this subject was very poorly addressed in the Draft No. 2 copy of the PRMP in spite of the very well expressed first paragraph of “unencumbered parks.” It is also vital that bylaw issues re: leases of park lands, are addressed and amended, following a successful adaptation of the (PRMP). It appeared from the news articles that this has also been recognized.
It is my most sincere hope that the subject of “commercial uses in parks” will now be more adequately addressed and then be clearly drafted and dealt with in accordance with the overwhelming majority wishes of the public. My goal, and the goal of many friends and acquaintances, who we have discussed this with, is: absolutely no new “leased land” type of commercial uses in our parks and absolutely no loss of greenspace and no loss of public access to our parks and beaches.
I will continue to provide positive, constructive input toward these goals, whenever possible, until a final revised, acceptable copy of the “plan” is complete and necessary bylaw amendments are also dealt with. I encourage everyone to do the same.