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REPORTING · 7th April 2015
Walter McFarlane
It was earlier this year, on February 23rd that Brian Wakita came before Council to inform them about his plans for a park in his development, Forest hills. He explained he was moving the park from where he originally planned to put it so it would connect from the end of the walkway at the top of a ravine to an existing trail which goes down into the ravine.

Wakita expressed the trail connects Coho Flats to Hirsch Creek Canyon. “As a part of this rezoning proposal, I would like to enhance the trail so it is not as slippery or as steep,” said Wakita.

He added he wished to put in a waterline connected to a fountain or a tap so the people who used the trail could get a drink or wash their dog. He also suggested putting in a concrete slab for a memorial bench.

Councillor Mary Murphy pointed the park had been originally planned to be in the centre of the Forest Hills Development. She expressed a water park in the development would be awesome. She asked why it would be on the edge and not central.

The response from Wakita was there would be an extra residential lot by doing this and he would not be able to link the trail to the development. Councillor Mario Feldhoff pointed out the closest playground was at Saint Anthony’s Elementary School. Wakita replied there was one on Wozney Street. He added there were a lot of avid hikers in town and this trail head would benefit them.

As it currently stands, the trail into the gully is heavily wooded and drops straight into the valley. Putting a park in another area would require walkways to get to it, meaning they would need to put in right of ways.

Council was told by administration that they plan on formalizing the rout, adding it to the trail system. Wakita told Council he walked the trail system and it is an existing trail which people are using. People were using it to get to the property before turning around.

They plan to put some switchbacks and gravel so the access point is a gentle slope down and easy to walk without having to worry about someone sliding to the bottom.

The changes to the proposal would be the relocation of the park, the upgrades to the pathway and installing a waterline.

The Council gave first reading to the bylaw on the 23rd of February.

It returned to Council on March 23rd for a public hearing. One letter was sent to Council from David Brown concerning the proposal. He asked if kids were supposed to play ball or catch in the cemetery due to a lack of greenspace. The letter proposed using a lot as greenspace and parking for the trailhead. He also asked if the drinking fountain would have enough use to justify its installation and maintenance.

He also had a suggestion concerning an additional access to the cemetery.

There was no further input. Councillor Feldhoff wanted staff to do some follow up concerning having a park and the improved trailhead. Councillor Larry Walker suggested a piece of land for a park. He suggested postponing the decision until they had further information.

Councillor Mary Murphy expressed she had thought this was discussed on the 23rd of February and asked if Council was looking for new information. Feldhoff expressed he wanted information on if they could do both.

The Public hearing was adjourned to Tuesday, April 7th.