Chemainus revitalization discussed

Waterfront access high on priority list

Residents say the revitalization of downtown Chemainus should include waterfront access, Willow Street development and new infrastructure such as a library, skateboard park and community centre.

 

These ideas and more were discussed at an open house meeting June 23, where the Chemainus Advisory Committee, made up of residents, business owners and members of the Municipality of North Cowichan, presented the results of their June 16 workshop.

 

“It’s a real shopping list of ideas and we know for sure the municipality is not going to be able to do all those things. So the process we’re going through now is to find out what are the priorities,” said Doug Backhouse of HB Lanarc, the consulting firmed hired to oversee the town’s revitalization plan.

 

The meeting, held at the Chemainus Legion, was attended by more than 90 residents. After a presentation on the committee’s ideas, which also included parking considerations, the Chemainus Road corridor and Benchlands development, the floor was opened to commentary.

 

Business owner Ward Yeagar said he felt a consensus among residents about what direction they’d like to see the plan take.

 

“The municipality has ignored it for over 10 years with no capital investment and other communities; Qualicum Beach, Sidney, Comox have all invested millions in their downtown core revitalize, leaving our business community at a huge competitive disadvantage,” he said.

 

“Our advantage is the arts, so we need to stress that in any redevelopment.”

 

“As a resident, I think that developing our waterfront would be good for residents, but it would also be good from a business industry perspective,” he added.

 

“We know how many people want to come to a community where they have the ability to enjoy the beach… so a boardwalk that would join from the marina to Kin beach would be helpful.”

 

Susan Beaubier said she was encouraged by the meeting and said the municipality was doing the right thing by consulting the community.

 

“It’s time to see something concrete come out of it and I know it doesn’t come easily,” she said.

 

Beaubier likes the idea of keeping the focus on recreation to keep residents living in the town while attracting tourists.

 

She also agreed that waterfront access was a key issue.

 

“I think it’s criminal that we don’t have more public access because it’s such a beautiful area,” she said.

 

While her first priority is the preservation of Echo Heights forest, resident Diana Hardacker said she would like to see strong efforts on the skateboard park and Benchlands property.

 

“We have been talking about putting a skateboard park in this community for years, it is time to just bloody well do it,” she said.

 

“One thing that needs to be brought back is the kiosk in Waterwheel Park, that was awesome for tourists.”

 

Backhouse said the next step will be to identify the key priorities for revitalization and start to develop a more comprehensive plan for them.

 

“I think people really like Chemainus the way it is and they want to build on the parts that are successful,” he said.

 

For more information on the project and the findings presented, visit www.ourchemainus.ca

 

Just Posted

Kate Cram and her team at Old Town Ice Cream are thrilled to be open for business. (Cole Schisler photo)
Old Town Ice Cream opens up right on time for summer

Located at 539 1st Avenue, Old Time Ice Cream is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Volunteers Alex Cook, Ron Dashwood, and Bill Drysdale have been hard at work restoring the old Ladysmith train station. (Cole Schisler photo)
Train station restoration on track for future community open house

Community is asked to give feedback on what they think the best use is for the station

Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend organizer Connie Crocker. (Photo submitted)
Chemainus Indigenous Peoples Weekend online June 19-21

Event’s been in the planning stages since February without knowing COVID implications

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding parnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Most Read