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Have your say about future of Snug Cove

It's like a box of building blocks that can be fitted together to make a castle, or a cottage, depending on the choice and ambition of the builder.

It's like a box of building blocks that can be fitted together to make a castle, or a cottage, depending on the choice and ambition of the builder. The Snug Cove village design and transportation concepts report offers four schemes with 16 modules, 12 of them interchangeable. And everyone is invited to make a choice.

Architect James Tuer is the consultant who worked with the Bowen Island Municipality to generate the report. He said, "For the month of June, the public is in the driver's seat in this process. And whatever [input] we get, we work with it. If we get tons, that's great. The key idea about the process is that it's inclusive. We have options, and not only do we have options, but we have these design ideas that are interchangeable. So our hope and council's hope is that through the public process, people will weigh in with individual ideas as well as on the schemes. And we'll get a real sense on where the community is headed."

Hap Stelling, director of planning, said, "This is an initial piece in a longer term process to revitalize the cove and that will be specifically addressed through what's called the Snug Cove implementation plan. That is really about developing a process that looks at Snug Cove comprehensively in terms of planning, design, infrastructure, retail use, residential use, and how all these pieces fit together coherently. Getting a fix on how the ferry marshalling piece and related transportation concepts fit in, is critical to developing a vision for the future of Snug Cove."

Tuer said, "The last public process that happened in Snug Cove was for the official Snug Cove plan which is an amendment to the OCP and was done in 2004. They looked at three ferry marshalling alternatives, the south side terminal and a loop road option from Miller Road. We have a modified loop road but it's not off Miller Road. And they looked at the Trunk Road corridor. They did a little bit of visualization on it and then they polled the public. But they realized that making a call on ferry marshalling at that point of time was extremely difficult because there are constraints. One is the heron rookery. Two, a larger ferry doesn't come along until capacity is proven for it and until demand is proven for it. So, BC Ferries has to come on line for that too."

Stelling and Tuer had at least three meetings with BC Ferries. Stelling said, "[BC Ferries has] been helpful to us in fine-tuning these proposals and in terms of concerns they may have from the design perspective."

The Chamber of Commerce, the Bowen Island Historical Preservation Association and the civic facilities group have been part of the process, and Metro Parks was consulted about Crippen Park. Tuer said, "We've also consulted with Rondy Dike. Obviously one of our schemes plays on land that is in his ownership and he's been aware of it. In fact, he's been at all the council meetings and has had some great suggestions."

About council's involvement, Tuer said, "We've had full creative freedom. We haven't been managed in any way." Stelling said, "We received direction around policy objectives in the meeting in July in 2010 which, to some extent, defined the scope of the ongoing work. But other than that, there hasn't been a whole lot of intrusion in the process."

Tuer said, "We want people to know that they can shape the outcomes. If there is a really good turnout on this, council will think hard on the decisions they make. Because, ultimately, they have been elected by the public."

Stelling said, "Ideally, people would go to the open house and see the storyboard that supports the work, listen to the presentation and ask questions that will help to inform their thinking and then fill out the questionnaire. But if that's not possible, then there are hard copies of the plan available at the library and the municipal hall as well as on the website which will give them a sense of where we come from and where we can go to."

The schemes and design elements are presented at and at the open houses on Thurs., June 16 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Sat., June 18, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.