The proposed layout for the Bike Skills Park planned for John Phillips Memorial Park.

Bike skills park making tracks

District and local club sign agreement to occupy park space

Council unanimously agreed to enter into a License of Occupation Agreement with the Sooke Bike Club for the Bike Skills Park at the regular council meeting on Oct. 9.

Mayor Wendal Milne stated the project has been through council several times and has many advocates for and against the project, which will be built in John Phillips Memorial Park.

Opponents have voiced concerns over noise, decrease in property value for neighbours and lack of maintenance.

Under the agreement, the Bike Club will be responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and all related costs of the slalom bike park, which will be built on 1.8 hectares of property.

The non-profit is also responsible for improvement costs on the site, including fencing, signage, bike storage, washroom facilities, equipment storage and water use.

Councillor Herb Haldane said he was in support of the project, which would provide residents more recreational options, but stated council must be prepared to provide funds in the future.

“One of the big points I want to make out is we have to be cognizant of the fact that if they don’t make out with funding, we have to be prepare to help pay for it,” he said.

“I do think it’s a good idea to plan on this at the early stages because this is going to take a fair amount of money to accomplish.”

According to council documents, the group will be responsible for liability insurance with the District of Sooke named.

“It is important to note that the District of Sooke may still be liable under their own insurance under certain actions,” stated the document.

A site plan, developed by Alpine Bike Parks, shows the slalom course will include pump tracks; technical skills, large flow and medium flow trails; a 10-foot corrugated overpass; and a multi-use trail that will surround the park.

The Bike Skills Park, which will be accessible to the public, will be located between Rhodonite Drive to the north with Tara Road to the east and Townsend Road to the west.

The park was included in the 2009 Trails Master Plan and 2006 Conceptual plan, developed by the John Phillips Memorial Park Trust Committee.