At the December 15th Electoral Area Services Committee meeting, the SCRD staff submitted a report on the status of the Coopers Green Hall Replacement Project. The report proposed to conduct a community check-in through an online survey to gauge people’s preference between:
- a hall at Coopers Green on the upper knoll, and
- a hall at Connor Park.
A Halfmoon Bay Community Association (HBCA) delegation made a presentation to the Committee in response to the SCRD Staff Report, which (a) raised unanswered questions about the risks of ocean flooding in the lower part of Coopers Green Park, and (b) proposed that the online survey offer Option D (a combined Connor Park Hall/Coopers Green revitalization option, rather than Connor Park as a standalone site), as described in our Option D email to members and donors of November 2nd.
After many questions from the Committee to our delegation and the SCRD Staff, we believe the EAS Committee arrived at an outcome that was favourable for all and that the HBCA and the SCRD staff are now in agreement regarding this way forward.
The SCRD survey has now been published along with an extensive set of background documentation, so that everyone can provide a response that is well informed. The survey includes these three options to test the preference of residents of all Electoral Areas:
- Option 1 – Community hall on the upper knoll of Coopers Green Park
- Option 2 – Community hall at Connor Park in Halfmoon Bay and improvements to Coopers Green Park
- Option 3 – Conduct a more detailed study of the current hall site at Coopers Green
Here’s the link to the SCRD’s Let’s Talk page, which includes a great deal of background information and links to pertinent documents. We ask that you take the time to read the material, but most importantly the very first document entitled Information Package – Advantages and Challenges with the Three Options so that you can make an informed choice on the options presented.
Many people have asked the HBCA Board which option we support. We want to be clear…for the past 8+ years, this was undoubtedly a Coopers Green Hall project and that is the site we supported; that is what all these years of work and fundraising were directed towards, including the last almost 2 years developing an operational plan. Based on the options now being presented by the SCRD Staff, it is clear that this is being seen as a “community hall” project (with no site yet selected or preferred). The position of the HBCA Board is that we will continue to ensure that you are heard, that you have avenues to voice your opinions and concerns. And then, when the SCRD finally makes a site selection, we will put our efforts towards supporting you and the SCRD to ensure that the project proceeds in the best manner for the community.
As representatives of all Halfmoon Bay residents and members, we are choosing to be neutral regarding the survey. But we do have some thoughts regarding the three options, which might clarify certain points and provide our opinion on some details. You may want to consider these points, as well as the SCRD information, when deciding how you want to respond to the survey:
- Option 3 refers to the original site and not to the site in the southeast corner of the park. The SCRD believes that ocean flooding risk pertains equally to both sites. However, there are setback issues with the original site to be considered as well. No work has been done specifically on the southeast corner.
- If the SCRD chooses not to build a hall in Coopers Green Park, the HBCA will work to ensure that park upgrades are made during the hall project and not subsequently, and that includes a performance space, as described in our Option D email of November 2nd.
- If the SCRD chooses not to commit to these Coopers Green Park upgrades, the HBCA will consider redirecting its donation from the hall project to Coopers Green Park upgrades instead. We may also encourage individual donors who are willing to also redirect their donations, instead of requesting a refund.
- This would reduce the available budget for building the hall, but there would still be around $4 million available which should be adequate to build the hall anywhere.
- Assuming a hall is built using the ICIP grant, the old hall will be demolished.
- There is a set of frequently asked questions on the Let’s Talk page. If you still have a further questions, please bring it to the Town Hall (see below) or do not hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
Following a conversation with Area B Director Justine Gabias, we have agreed to co-host a community information session on January 13th from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Halfmoon Bay Elementary-Community School. This is one week prior to the closing date of the SCRD survey. The location and other details will be provided to you in the coming days. We urge you to attend this session prior to completing the survey, if you are undecided, or want to be more informed before you make a decision.
Once you have made a decision, please make sure you complete the survey as that input is what the SCRD Board will be taking into consideration (along with other information) when they cast their vote in February 2023 (hopefully no later).