It's not on the agenda for its Nov. 4 town hall, but the Halfmoon Bay Community Association is expecting to field questions about a new option for the Sunshine Coast Regional District's $4.5 million community hall replacement project at the event.
On Nov. 2, the association, which had supported building a new hall at Coopers Green Park, released a statement asking the community for input on a new option to complete two concurrent projects: 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.
In July, the SCRD board learned that the risk of ocean flooding at the proposed Coopers Green location would require building redesign and siting changes, delaying and increasing the costs of construction. In October, the board deferred decisions of undertaking further analysis work at that site or to look at options at other locations until the 2022-2026 board took office.
“It is our hope that the community can see the project with fresh eyes," says HBCA president Linda McMahon. "The alternative, we fear, is more expense, more valuable time lost, and quite possibly no new community hall at any site for the foreseeable future,” the statement read.
The new option arose from discussions by an HBCA task force, made up of McMahon and two other members of the HBCA executive and SCRD staff, that relooked at the intent of the community hall project. McMahon said those were focused on, “What did the community want, what did the community need, and what does the SCRD have the potential to make happen.”
The HBCA has asked its members about support for the new option and any concerns that they may have by mid-November. McMahon said that input will be summarized and provided to SCRD staff so that it can be presented when the issue goes back to the board at the Dec. 15 electoral service committee meeting. The HBCA task force has secured a spot on the agenda of that meeting as a delegation.
“I want to express on behalf of the board and task force that we are not without feeling on the impact that this latest bit of information has had on the community. We are very, very sensitive to the disappointment that must be felt with some members of the community," said McMahon. "We don’t go into this with no feeling or acknowledgement of that, what we are trying to do is really make the best of a difficult situation and try and take some emotion out of it and look at it as how can we best serve the community given all the challenges that have arisen, trying to make the best of what we have,”
The main agenda of the town hall
Local MLA Nicholas Simons will be speaking to the province’s approaches to management of subdivision stormwater impacts, tree-cutting on private properties and dock tenures in shíshálh swiya at the virtual town hall Nov. 4 at 6 p.m., hosted by the HBCA.
As those topics are of concern to people Coast-wide, HBCA president Linda McMahon said all are welcome to attend and participate. Meeting access details are available on the HBCA website.
Director-elect for Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) Area B (Halfmoon Bay) Justine Gabias is also scheduled to participate. McMahon told Coast Reporter the plan is to provide her with an opportunity to present topics she would like to raise with the province.
AGM to follow
The association's annual general meeting is slated to follow the town hall meeting, at 8 p.m.