Why is Central Saanich council contemplating privatizing public parkland in Brentwood Bay?
On June 14, Central Saanich council heard a proposal to take public parkland in the core of Brentwood Bay and let a small group of people use it for their own, personal purposes, in essence, privatizing public parkland.
This is at a time when, yet again, backhoes are digging up a property in the heart of Brentwood Bay for yet another apartment complex with no recreational land area (at the moment a very deep hole next to Brewskys). While the drive of the council seems to be to major densification in the core of Brentwood Bay, the same council is seriously considering removing parkland for the exclusive use of a small number of select families.
While having an area where people who live in apartments or postage stamp-sized lots, to be able to grow fruits and vegetables is a very good idea, removing public parkland makes no sense. We need more parkland for our children, not less.
Within Central Saanich there must be areas that could serve as a community garden without removing heavily used parkland in the heart of Brentwood Bay. Not only is yet another major development underway, but there are still other properties (a number of older strip malls) in Brentwood Bay which are ripe for development, with yet more densification as encouraged by the last OCP review, and I expect will be emphasized in the current process.
We keep seeing single-home lots with a bit of a yard being demolished and replaced with two, three and even four units, with no green recreational space. Take a look at the corners of Clarke and Lucille, and Clarke and Damelart. Those used to be single-house lots with good yards.
People need a place where they can have a picnic, read a book in solitude, go through an exercise routine, throw a ball, or simply run around. With densification, they can no longer do most of this around their own home, so the use of public space will keep increasing. This is no time to remove heavily used public park space for the benefit of a few families, some of whom may not even be Brentwood Bay residents.