Board Meeting Highlights
October 31, 2005

The following information is intended to provide quick highlights of this scheduled Board meeting. Every attempt has been made to summarize these highlights as accurately as possible; however, the complete and official minutes will be posted on the web site on the Monday one week prior to the next scheduled Board meeting.

Meeting Agenda - October 31, 2005


The Park Board participated in four special events over the last two weeks - Tree Tales writing contest and tree planting celebrations at Queen Elizabeth Park; opening of the newly renovated addition to Champlain Heights Community Centre; opening of the new Millennium Sports Centre housing the Pacific Indoor Bowling and Phoenix Gymnastics Clubs; and opening of the International Sculpture Biennale public art exhibit in parks.


Several items related to the Park Board are on Council's agenda this week: Report on Olympic countdown and handover celebrations next February; and Adoption of the Riley Park/South Cambie Community Visions.


The new Go Play! marketing campaign has been launched city-wide. Ads and a contest in the Courier Newspaper, along with bus shelters, posters, banners and other promotional materials are inviting residents to visit their neighborhood rinks, pools and fitness centres for fun, affordable and accessible recreation.


Aquatic Services Renewal Plan Update
In response to four Board resolutions of September 2005 relating to the continued operation of Mt. Pleasant and Sunset Pools over the short and long-term, the Board approved a number of updates to the Aquatics Services Renewal Plan which outlines the strategy for reconfiguring Vancouver's aquatic facilities and services to meet current and future demands: that the Mt. Pleasant and Sunset outdoor pools continue to be operated through 2006 and 2007 summers, as long as no extraordinary additional costs are incurred; that the Mt. Pleasant outdoor pool be retained at the Mt. Pleasant site; that the Board plan for the continued operation of one or both pools for the 2008 season and beyond taking into consideration a number of factors such as public consultation, readiness of the new Mt. Pleasant and Sunset community centres and availability of operating funds; that staff meet no later than January 31, 2006 with Mt. Pleasant community representatives to consult on fundraising for a new outdoor pool; and that staff report back before March 2007 with recommendations on the considerations for operation in 2008 and beyond.

Skateboard Strategy for Vancouver
A new strategy for skateboarding in the city was approved; the identification and selection of candidate sites for new skateboard facilities and the setting of priorities for the 2006-2008 Capital Plan will now be referred to the public for consultation. Eight strategic actions were included in the long-term strategy, which acknowledge the sport as an important recreational activity, provides a framework for capital investment and sets out locational criteria for new facilities. Feedback from the skateboarding community provided direction for the strategy.

Improvements to Dog Off-leash Program
Staff will seek public input to a proposed expansion to the dog off-leash program including: changes in off-leash hours at Coopers Park and CRAB Park at Portside, to all day; and creating new dog off-leash areas at Stanley, Devonian Harbour and Creekside Parks. As well, the Board directed staff to report back with recommendations on developing of an overall city-wide dog strategy.

Sequoia Grill and Seasons in the Park Rent Review
New rental terms were set for Sequoia Grill and Seasons in the Park restaurants, both long-term tenants that offer fine dining in Stanley and Queen Elizabeth Parks, respectively.

Facility Development Coordinator
An additional regular full-time Facility Development Coordinator was approved for 2006-2008, to help provide project management for the many new capital works initiatives involving community centres, rinks, pools and other facilities over the next three years. The establishment of this position is subject to approval of the Park Board Capital Plan in the November civic election; funding for the new coordinator will come from the Plan.


Commissioner Woodcock put forward a Motion to recommend to Council that a city-wide plebiscite be held during the 2008 civic election on the question of whales and dolphins being kept in captivity in Stanley Park, with a goal of testing public opinion in the interests of long-term planning for the next lease renewal with the Vancouver Aquarium in 2015; and that the plebiscite yes or no question be, "Are you in favour of phasing out the containment of whales and dolphins in Stanley Park?". The Motion carried.

Commissioner Woodcock put forward a Motion that staff investigate adding a synthetic field with lights in the East Fraserlands site prior to the formal submission of an Official Development Plan application. The Motion carried.


The next regular meeting of the Park Board is at 7:00 pm on Monday, December 5th at 2099 Beach Avenue.