Vancouver park board considers Olympic RV parks

On Monday (July 20), the Vancouver park board will consider a plan that has members of the North West Point Grey Home Owners' Association up in arms.

The plan would see RV parks set up in the parking lots at Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks for a three-week period extending from February 8 to March 2, during the 2010 Olympics. About 365 RVs can be accommodated at these sites, and park staff expect revenue of up to $725,000.

However, homeowners association president Phyllis Tyers said in a letter addressed to Vancouver mayor Gregor Robertson and members of council that the RV parks will result in the “creation of an eyesore—a picturesque drive out to UBC marred by trailers, cars, and ”˜honey wagons'.”

Resident Larrie Bongie anticipates that under the plan, as many as 1,500 people will be staying at Jericho Beach and Spanish Banks.

“The sheer number of habitations and occupants represents a virtual town site, filled, not with visitors simply enjoying the beaches for an afternoon but with full-time residents, coming and going at all hours, lawfully inhabiting, along with their live-in or invited guests, their 200-250 square-foot premises as their 24/7 castle,” Bongie stated in a separate letter to Robertson and city councillors.

In a phone interview with the Straight, Bongie said the plan to allow RV camps will set a precedent in the “commercial exploitation” of the city's parks. “There's no end to that,” he said. “Where does it begin and where does it end?”

Coalition of Progressive Electors park commissioner Loretta Woodcock is in Toronto and will not be able to attend Monday's park board meeting.

Asked if she would have voted in favour of the plan, Woodcock told the Straight by phone: “Based on the information I have today, I haven't received anything that tells me that this is a bad idea.”

Woodcock added that the plan is all about “welcoming people who can't afford hotels, the big hotel costs” during the Games.

A July 10 park-board staff report stated that alternative accommodation will be required for visitors because of the low supply of available hotel rooms in the city. It also pointed out that the only RV site close to the downtown area is the Capilano RV park, next to the Lions Gate Bridge. The report added that as of February, the RV park was already completely booked for the Olympics, with at least 100 people on the waiting list.

Comments

1 Comments

Claudia

Jul 17, 2009 at 9:09am

For those of us living near Hastings Park this kind of idea is the norm - our park is mostly paved, with movie and entertainment trucks parked most of the time on site - we don't even have picnic tables for local families! Luckily for the rest of the city, their parks are only going to look like this for a couple of weeks - instead of year round - the PNE is only a few weeks a year, but they run the park the rest of the year in East Vancouver.