More consulation needed on Duncan Manor plan
Being able to say I have lived in Duncan my whole life is a privilege, even though that means admitting my memories stretch back over more than 50 years.
I remember when cows grazed on the property where McDonald’s now cooks their progeny. And I remember when Centennial Park was an uninteresting, underdeveloped green space with a nice tennis court and a questionable swing set. There are only three designated community parks in the city of Duncan, Rotary and the adjacent McAdam being the other two. (Of note, as green space, is Charles Hoey park as well). And while they serve much of the population in different ways, none provide the services Centennial Park does, from the community gardens to the water park to the tennis and basketball courts, the creekside trails and stairs, fitness equipment and the brick oven.
Now, frequent readers of this paper probably are predicting where my walk down memory lane is trying to lead them, but here is the thing. We, as a society, are judged by how we treat our most vulnerable citizens, and I support the replacement of Duncan Manor for that reason. However, I have questions about the consultation process. I, as a resident of First Street, have not been provided answers to my questions, which include, have we exhausted all other possibilities that don’t include paving over a considerable expanse of the park to make a new entrance and move the parking lot? Since the developers needed to apply for a variance to build six storeys, maybe instead they could build a skinnier eight storey building that would leave the park intact and diminish the impact on neighbouring buildings.
Also, do residents of Second Street know that their cul-de-sac, where kids rollerblade, bike and play street hockey is destined to become the only road in and out of the park? There is at least one property for sale on Evans Street that could be suitable for development — has that been considered? And what of the narrow strip of First Nations land that borders the park? Have indigenous council members been consulted, or invited to input ideas? I’d like to have a bigger conversation about this plan, because I support the one part of it, and oppose another part. I can’t be alone in this state of quandary.