Some members of the Oak Bay tennis community were not pleased with the initial renderings for the proposed redevelopment of a local park.
That’s because the two draft concept plans for the proposed redevelopment of Carnarvon Park, developed by Lees and Associates, do not include tennis courts.
“As a parent of two avid tennis players, and as a tennis playing family, we are saddened by the proposal to remove tennis courts at Carnarvon Park as we have enjoyed these courts for many years,” writes local resident Penny Lloyd in an email to Oak Bay council members and District staff Friday.
“With a fast-growing tennis community in Victoria, this is a loss for the community and for our competitive tennis youth players,” she adds in the email, urging the municipality to reconsider the proposed elimination of tennis courts.
Robert Bettauer, CEO of Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence, called the proposed removal of tennis courts “alarming and unacceptable.”
“Tennis is a major sport in this country; and a lot of youth participate, as well as seniors,” he told Oak Bay News, adding that he has been using the park’s tennis courts himself for the past five years.
But according to Ray Herman, Oak Bay’s director of parks, recreation and culture, the purpose of the draft concept plans was to ask the community for their feedback.
“The Carnarvon courts are our least utilized outdoor courts in Oak Bay, so the concepts showed a different use for the space to see what the community thought,” he said.
The district held two open houses last weekend at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre.
“We had excellent participation this past weekend at two open houses, and the boards are still on display at the Oak Bay Recreation Centre, where people continue to put their feedback on sticky notes and post them to the boards,” Herman said.
“We have heard from a number of folks who suggested the courts would be better utilized if they were in better condition, and they would like to see tennis courts included in the next draft plan,” he continued. “This was great feedback for us to consider.”
An online survey, which can be found at bit.ly/2F6bAaz, and will remain open until Nov. 19.
“After Nov. 19 our consultant will gather all of the information received and will work on producing a single draft concept plan, which will be presented to the community in January,” Herman explained. “We will again be asking for feedback to determine if the plan is meeting the needs of the majority of Oak Bay residents.”
Herman added that no final decisions have been made so far when it comes to the park’s redevelopment.
“In fact, we are a few months away from those types of decisions being finalized.”
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