Concerned Glendenning Road residents can be relieved that additional parking will be added to the streets' Mount Douglas Park entrance.

Saanich council opposes increase to Glendenning parking

Report lays out options to improve access to Mount Douglas Park

Saanich council Monday unanimously rejected a recommendation to create more roadside parking near Mount Douglas Park, while promising to crack down on illegal parking and improve access for individuals with disabilities.

The majority of council also signalled the community that Saanich is not prepared to create more parking inside the park, a decision that drew charges of “cherry-picking” from one councillor.

Council made this flurry of decisions after it had received a long-awaited report that reviewed access to Mount Douglas Park, a regional landmark popular with outdoor enthusiasts, but a persistent source of frustration for some residents who live on a quiet road at the foot of the mountain.

The district commissioned the study in early 2016 to “develop options for improving community access to key trails and facilities” in Mount Douglas Park following complaints from residents of Glendenning Road, a rural road that terminates into what locals call a “bridal trail” leading into the park.

This feature has made Glendenning Road a popular access point for individuals with mobility issues among others, but inspired complaints from residents who fear that vehicles parking illegally on the road would damage the area’s natural environment, block access for emergency vehicles, and diminish their quality of life.

Looking to reconcile competing demands from Glendenning Road residents, individuals with mobility issues, and the larger community, the report laid out 25 recommendations including doubling the existing number of legal parking stalls on Glendenning Road from five to 10 at a total cost of $80,000 with the actual asphalting costing $30,000. According to the access report, 76 per cent of respondents during an open house surveyed “expressed support for some additional parking” on the road.

But council – following extensive, occasionally heated input from the public – rejected that recommendation while instructing staff to begin implementation of the other recommendations, some of which will have significant budget implications and require input from other jurisdictions.

“To me, it is clear that Glendenning [Road] is not a place where we want to encourage more parking,” said Coun. Judy Brownoff in echoing earlier comments from Couns. Susan Brice and Fred Haynes.

“I felt six months ago that parking on Glendenning was not a good thing, and certainly now faced with $80,000 for five parking spots, I’m not able to go in that direction,” said Brice, who recommended that Saanich look into expanding parking on the beach parking lot off Cordova Bay Road.

Haynes said he could not support adding more parking along Glendenning because it would “irreversibly change” the nature of the road.

Other parking and access options exist and the district should explore those options before adding more parking on Glendenning Road, said Haynes. “These things can be tried without institutionalizing parking on Glendenning.”

He also called for “robust enforcement” of existing rules against illegal parking on the road and recommended the district look into reserving some existing parking spots on Glendenning for individuals with mobility issues. Council later passed a motion to that effect.

It had earlier rejected a motion by Coun. Colin Plant that would have directed staff to explore the “costs of increasing parking inside Mount Douglas (Park) at the Glendenning entrance with the understanding that there would no net loss to the park by exploring options of reducing parking at the beach parking lot and to consult the public on such a plan.”

Plant said expanding parking inside the park at no net less to the park represents the “simplest solution” to a problem that started when council “rightly or wrongly implemented signage that took away parking” on Glendenning Road.

Plant’s colleagues, however, questioned the spirit of the motion.

“The public has made it clear that that it does not want more parking in the park,” said Brownoff in referencing the access report that found 72 per cent of respondents opposed the conversion of parkland into parking.

Plant defended his proposal by noting that it deals with a very specific site and accused council of hypocrisy. If council cites the public’s opposition to the conversion of parkland into parking, why does it ignore comparable levels of support for adding more parking to Glendenning Road, he asked.

“I think council is cherry picking here,” he said.

 

Just Posted

Three Greater Victoria schools claim climate awards

Awards handed out by British Columbia Sustainable Energy Association

Tips from BC Ferries for travelling this Canada Day long weekend

Tips from BC Ferries for smooth sailing this Canada Day long weekend

Field named for longtime Hampton Little League volunteer

‘Curt Waldner Field’ recognizes years of dedication put in by former little league dad

Saanich honours lifetime of conservation efforts

Mary Haig-Brown wins environmental award for 40 years of extensive volunteer work

Sidney lowers flag to half mast in honour of former fire chief

Mel Baldwin died June 21 at the age of 83; served Sidney Fire for 46 years

Video shows fireworks shot at swan in Alberta

Alberta Fish and Wildlife is investigating the incident in Grande Prairie

WITH VIDEO: Two endangered marmots released on Vancouver Island

With three new pups born in May, two more Vancouver Island Marmots… Continue reading

Surrey RCMP raises Pride flag amid din of protesters

There were about 30 protesters on either side, and 20 Mounties doing crowd control

Should B.C. get rid of Daylight Saving Time?

The province wants to know, as state governments down south make the move

Air Canada reviewing how crew left sleeping passenger on parked plane

In a Facebook post, the woman said she woke up ‘all alone’ on a ‘cold dark’ aircraft

Canadians crash out of Women’s World Cup in 0-1 loss to Sweden

Canada missed a chance to tie the game on a penalty shot

Four-year-old boy assaulted at B.C. soccer game

It happened at a weekend tournament in Ashcroft

Two bear cubs saved near Revelstoke after mother hit by car

Conservation officers trapped the cubs and transported them to a wildlife sanctuary

Heroism medal for B.C. woman who tried to save wheelchair-bound man stuck on rail tracks

Julie Callaghan awarded Carnegie Medal from U.S.-based foundation for ‘extraordinary heroism’

Most Read