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Mayor discusses disposition of parkland

Since the public hearing regarding the disposition of five small parks in the city, Mayor Walt Cobb said there has been some information and misinformation floating around not only in the process, but where the City is at in making the decision on how to deal with it.

“One of the common threads that I heard at the public process and questions that have been asked of me since is that once we dispose of any parkland we will not get it back. As well as the feeling that open space is good and does not need to be developed or maintained,” Cobb said, adding he has no disagreement with open space and the comments, but looking at the overall area and comparing Williams Lake to other communities it needs to be noted that in most areas the average opens space standard across Canada is 11.75 to 20.0 acres per 1,000 population.

“In Williams Lake we have approximately 114 acres per 1,000 population.  With that in mind there may be some room for movement.”

The process from here on is open for discussion, Cobb added.

“We are awaiting a staff report from the public consultation which I anticipate will go to the community services committee with a recommendation to council on how to proceed from here and what should be considered in the final debate and council decision.”

Cobb said the Parks, Trails, Outdoor Recreation Master Plan was the 10-year plan started in 2010 and looks forward to 2020.

It is available online for those who want to find out more information at http://www.williamslake.ca/DocumentCenter/View/325.

The purpose of the plan was to provide overall direction and guidance for managing parks, public use of facilities and infrastructure and investment in the community.

“The plan is also influenced by other key city planning documents such as the Integrated Community Sustainability Planning framework as well as the official community plan. The preparation of the Master Plan relied heavily on the input and participation of many individuals and organizations residing in the City and surrounding area.”

It includes an inventory and an assessment of the City’s outdoor recreation opportunities and recommends a best practice model for the delivery of the assets and outdoor recreation opportunities to the residents of Williams Lake.

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