Two members of Saanich council expressed their disappointment that a response to the ongoing Glendenning Road parking ban could take at least another eight months.
Saanich Parks and Recreation will continue its study on all the access points of Mount Douglas Park, as directed by council in the fall of 2015.
Coun. Colin Plant forwarded a motion at the Feb. 15 Saanich council meeting that led to a debate on the time allowance for the staff prepared Mount Douglas Park access report. The report was ordered in November following a backlash to the parking ban, which limits the Mount Doug Park access on Glendenning Road to about five parking spots.
The ban crept up with no notice in the late spring of 2015, which caught park visitors by surprise. Many Mount Doug regulars continue to park illegally along Glendenning.
“I’m just wondering why it took three months and there is no report, rather, a clarification request for scope of assignment,” Plant asked director of Parks and Recreation Doug Henderson. “I’m uncomfortable taking 8-9 months studying this and would like 2-5 months.”
The Christmas break and a lack of staff availability were among Henderson’s responses.
“I agree it’s frustrating looking at the time of length it takes,” Henderson said.
When council ordered staff to prepare the report in response to the Glendenning parking ban, it was agreed the report would instead study all the access points at Mount Douglas. To do this, Henderson argued, it is important to be able to study visitor behaviour throughout the park’s busiest months, particularly May to September.
Council then voted down Plant’s motion to limit the report to five months (Mayor Richard Atwell also voted in favour), thereby allotting staff as much as nine months to complete the study.
David Poje, an outspoken council regular and concerned Saanich resident, spoke briefly on the matter.
Poje’s request that the current parking ban be lifted has been denied. He told the Saanich News that previous requests for additional information with respect to the ban from the fire and engineering departments have been ignored, and believes this attitude by Saanich management is unacceptable.
Plant actually questioned both engineering director Harley Machielse and Henderson as to whether they felt they’ve responded satisfactorily to the emails of Poje, who is known as a prolific letter writer. Both believed they had, with Machielse saying he is open to further meetings.