Halfmoon Bay director Garry Nohr said the Welcome Beach Community Association (WBCA) should be the ones to decide whether to go ahead with plans to renovate Coopers Green Hall or replace it with a new building.
Speaking at the Nov. 14 Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) community services committee meeting, Nohr said he delivered that message when he met recently with two members of the WBCA executive.
“I said I would support them whichever way it is,” Nohr said.
The option of building a new hall, estimated at $650,000 or more, came up last month during discussions between SCRD staff and WBCA members over the group’s plans to upgrade the facility at a cost of about $190,000.
Nohr said the group’s executive would go back to the membership for a decision.
“They were interested in a new building,” he said. “If so, they would put a substantial amount of money towards it. They asked me for a date and I said 2015, because they need two years to fundraise, at least.”
The proposed upgrade included the removal of two trees, which Nohr said received “a lot of pushback” from the community.
“They haven’t had a positive comment, so they’re looking at other options,” he said.
Community hall outreach
Staff will report back on options to lower costs and increase rental revenues for SCRD-owned community halls, in an effort to roll back the subsidy level that has risen sharply in recent years.
One option will be community outreach.
With the draft recreation master plan emphasizing community partnerships to deliver services, Nohr said that approach might reverse the revenue loss.
Taking up the idea, Roberts Creek director Donna Shugar asked if there was a way for staff to find community members “willing to do hall management” in their respective areas.
“Is there a place for trying to tap into community energy and having them be more active players in making these halls viable?” Shugar asked, pointing to the difference between assets “managed by passionate people in the community versus some kind of centralized institution like ours.”
The halls include Eric Cardinal Hall, Chaster House, Coopers Green Hall, Frank West Hall and Granthams Hall.
Beach access stalled
The Ministry of Trans-portation and Infrastructure (MOTI) has stalled the construction of a new beach access off Fullerton Road in Halfmoon Bay, but not as seriously as SCRD staff had first believed.
“They have relaxed their requirements a little bit,” parks planning coordinator Trevor Fawcett told directors Nov. 14. “They still want an engineered solution, but not as engineered.”
Last year the board budgeted almost $22,000 for the trail, which has to be rebuilt because the last 100 metres trespass through private property. During the permit process, however, MOTI requested an engineered design that staff estimated could double the cost of the project.
Subsequently, after a site visit with Nohr and SCRD staff on Oct. 30, MOTI engineers agreed the stairs and trail could be constructed using the BC Parks standard, reducing the extra cost to about $10,000, Fawcett said.
“There’s been a lot of angst in the community over this trail,” Nohr told the committee, explaining that for decades the existing trail had been used by the public, “but in the last two, three years it was sold to people who don’t want it to go through their landscape.”
Nohr described the access as “quite well used and quite weird,” predicting a new trail would be used even more.
“So we should move it to budget and see if we can find the dollars,” he said.
The committee agreed to the recommendation.
In a September report on the project, Fawcett said beach access points off Redrooffs Road in Area B are limited to three points along road right-of-ways and two through Coopers Green and Sargeant Bay Provincial Park. Field visits to other potential sites, he said, found “access at all of these points would be difficult because of the steep and unstable terrain of the Redrooffs escarpment.”