The Halfmoon Bay Community Association (HBCA) wants the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) to re-engage with the public on challenges and options for a new community hall. Association president Linda McMahon made that statement following an HBCA online and live-streamed town hall event hosted Nov. 4. The issue met with spirited discussion from some of the more than 80 attendees who joined the meeting, and McMahon said that there were more questions than answers.
Why is the project delayed?
The Sunshine Coast Regional District’s project to update the neighbourhood’s hall facilities, under discussion since 2014, hit a snag in mid-2022. The SCRD board was advised that mitigation of risks related to sea level rise to build near the existing Cooper’s Green Hall site would require a redesign of the proposed structure. It was noted that costs would likely exceed the approved $4.5 million approved budget.
Oct. 13, the SCRD board voted to defer a discussion of doing further work at that site or explore putting the facility at Connor Park. Those discussions are slated for a Dec. 15 electoral service committee meeting. McMahon said the HBCA has secured a spot on the agenda of that meeting as a delegation.
Association seeks input on new option
To prepare for the December event, the association, which had supported the Coopers Green site, asked the community for input on a new Option D to not proceed with the hall at that site but complete two concurrent projects. Those would be use of the approved budget to construct a smaller community hall at Connor Park and park improvements at Coopers Green Park, including a covered performance space.
McMahon said that as of Nov 7., the HBCA had received about 60 responses and plans to keep accepting input for another week. Input can be provided to firstname.lastname@example.org. The HBCA then plans to provide SCRD staff with the input received so that it can be included in the report that will go to the committee, which needs to be finalized by Nov. 30.
“There won’t be any recommendations or proposals from the community association in what we send to them, just a summary of what we received from community members. The SCRD is the decision maker,” McMahon emphasized.
“Part of the options presented to the board in October included a public consultation element, and we are reinforcing that needs to happen. It was clear [from the townhall meeting] that we are lacking a lot of the information that the public was requesting. It's hard to support any decision when you don’t have all the pieces and we don’t have the answers we need.”