Board Meeting Highlights
March 14, 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 - March 14, 2005


The Park Board has been recognized with three awards for excellence: two from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects - Regional Honour to van der Zalm + Associates for Vancouver Skate Plaza, and Regional Merit to PWL Partnership Landscape Architects for Harbour Green Park II; and one from the Pacific North West Palm and Exotic Plant Society for our horticultural achievement and landscaping efforts with palm trees at English Bay.


The General Manager outlined a number of items on Council and Committee agendas this week related to the Park Board: 2005 Interim Budget Report which will include a recommendation for the Park Board's operating budget; award of contract for Green Design Feasibility Study for #1 Kingsway which will serve as a pilot for other sustainable projects; follow up report on Skate Board by-laws; request to name two events (Celebration of Light and Grey Cup Festival) as civic events; rezoning of the downtown YMCA building (955 Burrard Street); recommendations to improve civic democracy; and East Fraserlands Official Development Plan.


Recreation Staff Position - Van East
The Board approved establishing a Recreation Supervisor position in the Vancouver East District. This new position will provide additional management support for recreation services. It will also address the number and complexity of issues across the district which includes 11 recreation centres, 3 ice rinks, 5 indoor pools, and 5 Park Board fitness centres, plus responsibility for children and youth, sports and fitness, and emergency social services.

Food Strategy Plan
With a consultant, a food plan strategy will be developed to update the fifteen ageing park concessions and reverse the downward sales trend from these facilities. The plan will review operations and lay out different fates for different outlets, different delivery models and different entrepreneurial models of operation. As well, staff will pilot a new test case over the next thirteen months, partnering with the Vancouver Aquarium to have their food service operate a 'trailer' concession on the Aquarium Plaza. This will involve changing menus regularly to test new food products. The expected results of the plan are better product for our park visitors and better return for the Park Board.

Everett Crowley Management Plan
The Board received the Everett Crowley Park Management Plan for information and approved that the key goals and strategies be adopted to guide future park use and management. The document clarifies future direction for the 39.44 acre park, a former landfill in East Vancouver which is the second largest naturally forested park in the city. Park Board staff and community stewardship groups will be directed by the plan which maximizes community involvement and addresses the balance between current active uses of the park (primarily dogs off leash) and habitat restoration. The Board also approved that the implementation of the management plan be achieved through future operating budgets, and the 2006-08 and subsequent Capital Plans.

Captain Cook Park - Update on Gingerbread House Daycare
A staff report provided an update on the relocation of Gingerbread House Daycare to Captain Cook School and Park, which is proceeding well. The childcare building will be on School Board land while the outdoor play area for the childcare centre will be on Park Board land. The fenced play area will retain existing trees, have a small entry feature to welcome park users, parents and children, and be designed to be non intrusive to park users.

Allocation of CAC - Parks in Mount Pleasant
The Board supported the allocation of the Community Amenity Contribution (CAC) to be collected from the rezoning of Vancouver Community College King Edward Campus toward park development in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, one of the city's most park deficient areas. CACs, collected at the rezoning stage, can be used for a variety of projects including park land acquisition, park development, park upgrades and recreational facilities. The use of two parks in the immediate vicinity - China Creek South and North - will increase as the College grows. The priority will be on investing in either of these parks in future. Subject to Council approval, $350,000 of the total CAC will be allocated to park improvements, to be available in about 8 years from now. The Board requested that Council allocate the remaining portion of the CAC ($414,000) to park acquisition and/or development in the Mount Pleasant area.

Stanley Park Dining Pavilion New Sublease
The Board's most significant heritage building, the Stanley Park Dining Pavilion, will get immediate renovations and improvements in the coming year, through a proposal from Point Group Holdings. Daniel Frankel, President of Point Group, is the operator of the Prospect Point Café and Mill Marine Bistro in Harbour Green Park, and provides catering services at the Coal Harbour Community Centre. They have proposed three distinct themed areas for the Pavilion - the Tea Garden and Gallery, the Rose Garden Ballroom and the Veranda Grill. A ten year sublease with one five year option was approved. No rent or tax payments will be paid by the proponent during the first six months of the lease as an incentive to carry out all the capital improvements which total $1.364 million. Opening date is planned for later this Spring.

Quilchena Park Improvements
The project to improve Quilchena Park was awarded to Cedar Crest Lands (BC) for a contract price of $574, 901. Improvements, expected to be completed by the end of August 2005, include additional drainage, one km perimeter walking path, universally accessible half km walking path, more demarcation of the existing dog off leash area, additional trees, shrubs and benches, two formalized entrances into the park, an Hellenic Garden for picnicking and occasional special events, and a neighborhood skateboard park.

2005 Operating Budget Priorities
Parking rate increases were approved for Stanley Park, Sunset Beach and Beach Avenue Loops to address the parking revenue shortfall from 2004. To fund the operation of 9 washrooms that have been closed and not available for public use, $45,000 from these parking increases plus $50,000 from restaurant revenues will be used. An update on rink rental fees was also given, one year after changes were made to charges for minor sport groups.

Special Event June 18 in Ceperley Meadow
A Park Board wide celebration will be held in Stanley Park's Ceperley Meadow on June 18th. Called "Rain or Shine Festival" the event will mark the advent of summer and promote summer activities. Community centres and Park Board partners and stakeholders are being asked to participate. Although plans are not yet finalized, there will be many opportunities for people from across the city to enjoy the park and have fun including music and dance, food, demonstrations of programs, interpretive walks etc. The festival is being paid for from the Corporate Sponsorship Fund.


The next regular meeting of the Park Board is at 7:00 pm on Monday, April 11th at 2099 Beach Avenue.