Don’t change Westporte

Westporte Place was well planned and encompasses all the elements that make a great neighbourhood.

To the Editor,

Re: Westporte Park sale and acquisition of new lands.

My husband and I oppose the applications from Rainbow Gardens and the City of Port Alberni rezoning change bylaws to sell Westporte Park land and the designation changes from Parks and Recreation P2 to Institutional P1.

The Westporte subdivision represents the ideal place to live. Westporte Place was well planned and encompasses all the elements that make a great neighbourhood.

Westporte includes a mixture of living choices ranging from single family homes, townhomes, self-owned and rental condominiums including a Community Living home with 24-hour care. In their brochures, Rainbow Gardens with its close proximity promotes the park as an activity to enjoy with families.

Westporte Place Park is the heart of our neighbourhood for young and old. It is a green space with a selection of benches, hockey and basketball areas, monkey bars, slide, as well as many other amenities. It is secure for our children and people of all ages use the park on a daily basis.

Port Alberni prides itself with green spaces, trails, outdoor activities as well as attracting older citizens to move here. I question the rationale of the city planner and the planning committee to take a well-functioning, active park away for the Rainbow Gardens project when there are better suited lands.

The closed schools and the old high school properties would accommodate several levels of care housing for our seniors.

We understand the necessity of the project, but not at the expense of a park.

The park area offered by the City of Port Alberni to replace Westporte Place Park is not suitable and not appropriate for a children’s playground.

We attended the open house at Rainbow Gardens on Feb. 19. Unfortunately, no official representatives from the city’s planning department nor council were in attendance.

The information given by the Rainbow Gardens representatives and the report to the Advisory Planning Commission left us with more questions than answers.

Monique and

Arnie Begg,

Port Alberni

Editor’s note: A public hearing on the Rainbow Gardens application is planned for Monday, March 16 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers at city hall.