Recreational vehicles will be allowed to stay overnight in parking lots at Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks in Vancouver, British Columbia, during the Winter Olympics next February, the Vancouver Park Board decided Monday (July 20).
The board voted 4-1 to approve a staff recommendation to allow roughly 365 RVs to park for $95 per night, despite residents’ protests, according to the Vancouver Sun.
Green Party Commissioner Stuart Mackinnon was the lone opponent.
The city sent information about the proposal to 460 homes near the beaches, and received 23 e-mails, letters and phone calls opposing the move, with just three communications in favor.
“We were confident that the business case was a good one,” said Vision Commissioner Aaron Jasper.
“The RVs are coming, and this is a way for us to do our part to help with the logistics of the Olympics, and to do this in a controlled way that has minimal impact to Vancouverites.”
The city will pay Duckworth Management Group Ltd. $134,832 to manage the sites.
According to the staff report, the only RV site close to downtown is the Capilano RV Park, which had a waiting list of more than 100 people as of February.
The Vancouver, British Columbia, Parks and Recreation Board will decide tonight (July 20) if two popular Vancouver beaches will become makeshift RV parks during the 2010 Winter Olympics, according to CTV British Columbia.
Parking lots at Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks would house up to 365 recreational vehicles during the Games, at a cost of $95 per night. The motorhomes would be allowed starting two days before the Feb. 10 opening of the Games and stay until March 2, two days after it ends.
Vision Vancouver Commissioner Aaron Jasper believes the board will approve the plan, and that the project will deal with the projected hotel shortage during the 2010 Olympics.
“Not wanting to have folks camp out in the parking lots of our shopping malls, we figured this would be the best approach,” Jasper told ctvbc.ca in June.
A temporary sewage disposal, water line and shower facility would be set up, and a shuttle service established to help visitors get to an Olympic transportation hub.
Public opposition against the project is mounting.
Phyllis Tyers, president of the North West Point Grey Home Owners’ Association, wrote the board and Vancouver mayor on behalf of the group, citing a lack of public consultation with residents.
Tyers says residents are concerned about the commericalization of park land through a private RV company, noise from shuttles and garbage trucks, and the eyesore of 365 RV’s in their neighbourhood.
But after fliers were distributed in the neighbourhood last month, parks commissioner Loretta Woodcock said she didn’t foresee any controversy from residents.
“Normally, we get complaints from residents about people camping illegally on the beach,” she said. “This is different. It will be very controlled, managed and monitored.”
“It actually brings security into the neighbourhood during the Olympics.”
It is believed reservations will begin in August, after a private project operator has been chosen.
The staff of the Vancouver, British Columbia, park board is assuring Point Grey residents that a plan to set up RV parks at Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks near their homes during the 2010 Olympics is nothing to worry about, according to the Georgia Straight, Vancouver.
The parking-lot campers are expected to be good neighbors, won’t make a lot of noise and will be inside their trailers for most evenings after spending the day out at the Games, according to Philip Josephs, manager of revenue services for the park board.
Josephs was responding to a letter by Phyllis Tyers, president of the North West Point Grey Home Owners Association, which identified the residents’ concerns to Mayor Gregor Robertson and members of the city council.
Another resident, Larrie Bongie, has written the mayor to express astonishment to the scale of the plan, which would allow 365 RVs into the parking lots of Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks for three weeks in February.
“Why so many huge RVs?” Bongie asked the mayor in his letter. “In terms of day-and-night traffic and human commotion what will be the effect of suddenly dumping 365 temporary dwellings and perhaps as many as 1,200-1,500 ready-to-party transient residents into Vancouver’s world-famous ‘quiet’ beach-park area?”
The plan will be considered by park board commissioners on Monday (July 20).
A plan by the city of Vancouver, British Columbia, to open its picturesque city beachfronts at Spanish Banks and Jericho Beach to accommodate RVs during the 2010 Winter Olympics next February is being met with some neighborhood opposition.
The North West Point Grey Home Owners’ Association sent a letter explaining its opposition to Mayor Gregor Robertson dated July 10.
The RV parks and their 365 temporary spaces would create “an eyesore,” the association stated, and complained that there was “no prior consultation” before the plan was formulated.
Here are excerpts from that letter, as published in Vancouver’s Georgia Straight:
The North West Point Grey Home Owners’ Association, as well as many other residents of the area and other individuals who utilize these parks, cannot endorse the proposal of an RV park for the Olympics in any city park for the following reasons:
- No prior consultation with residents before proposal formulated – limited distribution of notice sent out after press release.
- Commercialization of parkland with private RV management company to be in charge.
- Park board speculation for short-term gain with potential for substantial loss at taxpayers’ expense – no guarantee there is a need for all these sites or that competitive sites are not available.
- Creation of a precedent for future special events.
- Lack of power supply thereby creating air and noise pollution from gas-powered generators.
- Impossibility of enforcement and control of noise and illegal activities with police force committed to Olympic event. security – e.g. control and enforcement are poor even during relatively minor events such as the Folk Festival.
- Restricted access for RVs in the event of inclement weather and possible mud slides which have occurred because of unstable banks along NW Marine Drive.
- Impractical distance to venues (other than UBC) and reliance on shuttle service with buses in short supply.
- Creation of an eyesore – a picturesque drive out to UBC marred by trailers, cars, and “honey wagons.”
- Scale of site and the increased traffic and noise will have a major impact on public use and several residential areas.
With so many other venues being over budget , could we please be realistic and limit the waste of more funds for the Olympics? Given the history of Olympic cost overruns and Vancouver’s current financial plight, staff should be required to make public a cost-benefit analysis, with detailed breakdown of cost estimates and income, well in advance of a decision by the park board. The costs should include maintenance, cleanup and policing/security, plus the cost of returning the 365 RV spaces to their original (current) state, with sufficient funds sequestered for those purposes as a precondition.
What happened to the promises of consultation and practicality emphasized before the last municipal election?