Revelstoke council has formed a committee to look at its decision for a site plan for Kovach Park after neighbours protested the decision.
At its Feb. 24 meeting, council voted for a new site plan for the park that would see a washroom built to the north of the walkway and the playground remain where it is — so-called site plan three. The alternate plan – site plan four – was to place the washroom where the playground is, and move the playground across the walkway.
Laurie Donato, the director of parks, recreation and culture, told council that site plan three was recommended by a security expert and was only opposed by a few members of the Southside neighbourhood group, who wanted more separation between the skateboard park and playground.
A report by Donato, which can be read below, said it would cost $10,000 to move the playground, but it would cost $6,000 to $7,000 more to service the washroom on the north side of the walkway compared to the south. She recommended site plan three be endorsed, which council did.
The decision was criticized by several members of the neighbourhood group. In an e-mail to Donato and some members of council, John Teed wrote, “This is not yet a done deal.”
“I believe that council did not receive the full picture and certainly not the desires of the Southside Community group,” he wrote.
Daryl Ross, who’s backyard adjoins the park, wrote a scathing letter of his to council on the decision. He wrote the “overwhelming majority” of residents did not support site plan three and that Donato misrepresented the groups views to council, specifically pointing to a remark by Donato that only a few neighbours opposed site plan three.
“This statement is entirely false and misleading in my opinion,” Ross wrote. “The fact that a resident from the Southside Group was not invited to take part in the technical review process is not only an oversight, but in my opinion a deliberate tactic to remove any formal record of opposition from the process.”
He also wrote Donato never informed the group the vote on the plan would be going to council.
At the latest council meeting, on Tuesday, Mar. 10, councillor Gary Sulz read out a brief statement responding to the e-mails. He said a committee, lead by coun. Connie Brothers would review the process followed to involve the community in Kovach Park.
That committee is expected to report back to council on the site plan only. The skateboard park decision will not be re-visited.