Kits Beach Playground relocation

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What a Shame to see earth-moving equipment arrive at Kits Beach Park this morning and with it the message from the Vancouver Parks Board, that our concerns for safety and enjoyment of children have been ignored.

Again this last weekend the park was full of children enjoying themselves at both the playground and the basketball courts. A soggy volleyball tournament was underway and a few groups of basketball players were on the courts, happily sharing them with kids on bikes. Children watched the volleyball and basketball players and parents appreciated hearing their children expressing they wanted to grow up to play those sports. Parents were happy for this location, surrounded by open space and athletics, and no one would believe they would be better off closer to a large concrete building, proximity to wash-rooms and a concession or not.

Green Space to be lost with new playground

Meanwhile, the relative quiet of the weekend highlighted the noise of the trucks at the Boathouse restaurant and the constant noise of the building’s mechanics, the kitchen fan providing an unwanted white noise in the area of the new playground, and cars continued to plow through the adjacent intersection, many completely oblivious to the presence of a stop sign.

It was encouraging to see many of you voice your concerns regarding the proposed new location and with them viewpoints which Park Board Staff appeared to have been discouraging when they slid this proposal under the radar with the misleading notices sent to neighbours and posted at the current playground. It is disappointing to see an excavator unloaded at the Park today, and with it our voices ignored. With all of your communications and the quite evidently valid arguments in favour of the safety and access of the current location, and the failures of the consultation process, we had hoped that Commissioners would step in to correct the errors made by Parks Board staff.

Instead a great many parents will be disappointed to lose a playground with so many charms and alarmed to find a playground in a location so unsuitable for children. Parents of special needs children will be left wondering where their safe access to the playground is supposed to be as this was, after all, a playground supposed to meet their needs.

Last modified: June 4, 2010

16 Responses to " Kits Beach Playground relocation "

  1. Simon B says:

    On the City of Vancouver site it says that
    1. there was extensive public consultation with residents…
    http://vancouver.ca/parks/board/2010/100118/KitsilanoBeachPlaygroundConcept.pdf
    “The concept plan presented at the open house in December was reviewed and well received by Kitsilano residents as well as parents and children of all abilities from neighbourhoodsacross Vancouver. The comments received were generally positive and the community\’s
    suggestions informed further refinement of the concept plan.”

    This is news to me!!

    2. The budget for the project is $500K!

    3. The approved designs are available at :
    Appendix 1

    Kitisilano Beach Park Playground Concept Plan Jan 08 10 – presented to Board.pdf
    Appendix 2
    Proposed New Location of Kitisilano Beach Park Playground – presented to Board.pdf

    Oh….they do not appear to be available on the site or anywhere else on the internet 🙁

    So we appear to have an expensive project that not many people know about with plans we can’t see…what the heck is going on?????

    Simon

  2. rob says:

    . Out with the dangerous old equipment and in with the new.There was lots of consultation. This process has taken place over 3 years with a minimum of 2 public meetings. The only outrage is how long this took The old playground equipment was dangerous period. Loss of greenspace?? What’s going in there? Grass as far as I know
    Parents were tired of hearing swearing from the basketball courts. As well a fence was required around the playground for off leash dogs chasing balls through the playground.
    The new location is great. Parents with young ones can now walk a few steps to the washrooms instead of having to walk a couple of 100 yards- this is especially important for single parents with a couple of kids or more. This is great great news for the families of Vancouver and the world who enjoy this location

  3. NC says:

    Actually “Rob”, its been less than one year and the “consultation” was not preceded by accurate information to alert people to the true nature of the proposal.

    Have you even been to this Park? You don’t seem to be familiar with it. You sound like an apologist for Park Board staff and their lies and failings in this decision. Maybe you even are a PB staff member just trying to game the debate, as is their practice.

    The washrooms are about half the distance you refer to and as a regular at the playground I can’t say I recall seeing dogs running after balls through the area. The b-ball players and courts are very popular with the parents. I have my doubts of your sincerity or that you are a parent.

    Most of what you wrote is uninformed, specious, and illogical. Tsk, tsk. Bad dog!

  4. Rob says:

    NC you arrogance is only surpassed by your ignorance. What would Major Matthews think (I guess as a “local” you know who that is)

    I checked over my correspondence with the parks board and found the original meeting was from 2006!!

    KITSILANO BEACH PARK
    PROPOSED PLAYGROUND RENEWAL
    The public is invited to attend an open house
    to see displays and make comments on
    proposed improvements to the playground in
    Kitsilano Beach Park.
    The open house is scheduled for:
    When: Thursday, November 23, 2006
    Time: 6:30pm to 8:30pm
    Where: Kitsilano Community Centre
    2690 Larch Street
    For further information, contact:
    Debra Barnes, Project Manager
    Phone: 604-718-5852
    E-mail: debra.barnes@vancouver.ca

  5. NC says:

    Don’t be a twit Rob. The playground was simply included in a list of playgrounds needing upgrading in a capital plan now older than many of the children playing in the park. Nothing was done or planned until 2009 when money was offered by several organizations, most of it public money funnelled through various organizations. On July 20 the Board approved the refurbishment of the playground and in the Fall notice of a public meeting was distributed in the neighbourhood and posted at the site of the existing location. Those notices, and the minutes of the PB meeting indicate the new playground would be in the existing location, and would focus on accessibility for children of differing abilities. These things are well supported by parents and this is what the notice indicated. No controversy, so sparse attendance. Yet, it was only at the meetings that the change of plans was revealed. Not exactly an honest tactic, but a good one if you are trying to avoid scrutiny.

    The move indicates a callous disregard for the interests of children, particularly those children with mobility challenges as it moves the playground further from any reasonable options for access aside from a walk many hundreds of feet from the few reserved spots in the park. The location forces those families to walk many times further than the distance from the current playground to the washrooms. I guess you place a higher importance on the relative insignificant inconvenience of you and your kids walking a couple of hundred feet to a washroom than on families of handicapped children having to travel much further distances just to access the playground. What it is with you people and always having to be within 6 car lengths feet of a washroom?

    I suppose you prefer proximity to the slushee machines to the quieter current location. In this regard, Rob, I can tell you that you differ from most parents.

    Take your kids to the playground, Rob, maybe take a bike so they can ride on the courts with all the other kids, the courts are sparsely used for most of the year except by kids playing on their bikes and kicking balls, enjoy the quiet, its not going to be there for long.

  6. Rob says:

    Originally was supposed to be built in 2007 in the original location.
    Anyways I just jogged down there and you can still enjoy the old playground site (for the weekend?) – I look forward to the new one being built – there is no stopping it now – might as well enjoy it.
    Have a pleasant weekend you might even grow to like Slushees

  7. Simon says:

    “there is no stopping it now – might as well enjoy it.”…. isn’t this actually a direct quote from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in which Arthur Dent’s planet has been scheduled for demolition and the plans have been available for viewing at a nearby star system for several years??

  8. Donna says:

    Watermark turned into a monumental mess and embarrassment for the Parks Board, entirely due to staff’s failures to pick a decent operator or properly handle its planning, and residents didn’t let them forget it. This is Parks Board management’s revenge on the neighbourhood, to destroy what’s left of the park.

    How else can you explain such foolishness?

    Its a shame the docile elected officials don’t intervene. Lucky for them nobody remembers who they are.

  9. KDS parent says:

    After 38 years, The Kitsilano Day Care Society is being forced to close despite the fact that we have been a vital child care program for the Kitsilano community so we are in desperate need for a new site to preserve badly needed child care programs in the Kitsilano area. What do the Parks folks intend to do with the old site. It would be great if we can propose to convert it into something useful for the community, ie. a “green space” daycare and with other family-centered supports, ie. community garden… Suggestions?

  10. Larry says:

    NIMBYS

  11. Kits Folks says:

    We actually live in the area and would welcome having a family centered use of the space rather than taken over by a big US money-making chain like the “Boathouse” restaurant is now a part of. So please don’t equate everyone who lives in the area as NIMBYs. So I am all for doing something positive that will bring the true sense of community back into Kits Beach

  12. Neighborhood Mom of Tots says:

    I know change is hard and it is always sad to see green areas diminished. However, as a newcomer to Vancouver and the immediate neighborhood, I was horrified by the current playground structure. It is dangerous and outdated. I can’t believe it has lasted this long without being torn down. Why the new one could not go there is a mystery. I am not a fan of being near the building either…

  13. Dan says:

    I’ve tried really hard to see what the problem is with the move and can’t see what the beef could be apart from people being too stuck in the mud to accept a little change.

    Now, I’ve lived around the corner from the beach for over 5 years, so I walk here rain or shine, all year round, and although not a parent, I can use my eyes, and see how this area is used.

    How is accessbility a problem? The new park has level access from the path and is closer to the washrooms than the current one. Also, the car park near Cornwall is bigger and easier to get around.

    People also object to being moved and the effect on the view. Um, correct me if I’m wrong, but the new park has an even better, uninterrupted by trees, view of English Bay. No?

    What’s wrong with being near the concession building? I’ve never seen anyone ‘weird’ hanging out there in all the time I’ve lived here. You’re closer to the washrooms, concession (forget about the restaurant, you might just want an emergency bottle of water) and in the summer, the lifeguards for first aid. I’d hardly say it was ‘right against the building’ either.

    The arguments about the nearby intersection being dangerous. Don’t use it then. You probably drive there anyway and come along the path by the beach. If you don’t, then use the path by the beach. No one wants to walk any further than 20 yards these days.

  14. NC says:

    Dan seems to acknowledge the folly of putting a children’s playground next to a dangerous intersection but simply says “Don’t use it then.” Well, I guess that settles it, parents will simply walk to the other end of the block and cross there.

    Most of your points are similarly mired in poor logic, contradiction, and failure to understand the issues. Maybe that’s why you open your piece by attacking those who have spoken up against this issue rather than deal with the substance of the concerns.

    Though the playground is specifically intended to serve handicapped children there are no nearby reserved parking spots for handicapped use, as is customary when mobility is an issue. as has been stated Dan, the existing location is closer a parking lot than the new one, just 150 feet, offering opportunities for access that doesn’t involve longer walks through crowds. “Everyone stares” is a comment such a parent recently made after their walk from the big parking lot to the current playground.

    By the way, they found the two reserved spots close to the pathway already used, not surprising given that they serve the entire park, the restaurant, and swimming pool, and parked elsewhere in the lot making their walk longer.

    The views the location will ruin are those down Creelman st. and preserving them benefits the whole neighbourhood. What purpose are views from the playground anyways Dan?

    Of the many silly point you attempt to make, I like best the last two paragraphs, where you state the advantage of being close to the building for “emergency water” or “first aid by the lifeguards” and then, in criticism of those who are concerned about the danger of the adjacent intersection, you opine that “No one wants to walk any further than 20 yards these days.” Your contradiction here should have been apparent to even you.

    Remember Dan, while you may have “opinions” voicing them doesn’t add much to the debate if they are foolish.

    The decision to move the playground, and the unusual methods the Parks Board used to effect this remain difficult to defend and yet another sign the at the current Board of elected officials and the staff are not up to the task.

  15. John says:

    Over the last few weeks there has been someone spending the night sleeping behind the restaurant building. He screams at night, and in the morning lets rip with a profanity laced tirade. Then he rolls up his sleeping bag and tosses it in the bushes. This all happens about 50 feet from the new playground. He is a part of the rotating cast of homeless guys who have been regulars at the building and who have showed up since it was built and who now are going to be hanging out within feet of the playground.

    Dan is talking through his hat(or talking out of his ass, take your pick) when he says “I\’ve never seen anyone ‘weird\’ hanging out there in all the time I\’ve lived here.”

    Someone always shows up in these debates to act as an apologist for poor decision making, and they usually say things like “you people just don’t like change of any sort” and then add some screwball argument. I guess Dan is it.

  16. Dan says:

    Apologies to the fired-up parent-users of the Kits beach playground.

    As always with opinions, they are like assholes, as everybody has one. We are all allowed to express them without being smacked down – all I said was I didn’t agree with the issues being raised. Fair, no?

    Please allow everyone to have an ‘opinion’ since ‘opinions’ are just that, and none of us are ‘right’. Some people just convince themselves they are.

    And if you have a problem with the bad intersection on Arbutus, may I suggest contacting the city – I’m sure they’ll be happy to help and have done so for me on a previous occasion.