Lane re-opening to Bonny Park irks area residents

Traffic and safety concerns arose when the idea first came before city council in 2000. City responded by closing off the lane.

Some residents around Bonny Park are gearing up to oppose a rezoning proposal for a 10-lot subdivision on Riverside Drive. It all centres on a lane way that backs onto Bonny Park

Some residents around Bonny Park are gearing up to oppose a rezoning proposal for a 10-lot subdivision on Riverside Drive. It all centres on a lane way that backs onto Bonny Park

Some residents around Bonny Park are gearing up to oppose a rezoning proposal for a 10-lot subdivision on Riverside Drive.

It all centres on a lane way that backs onto Bonny Park, and the access to the park which would be opened up for the first time in 15 years — if the rezoning is approved.

Traffic, safety and security concerns of homeowners first arose when the idea came before city council in 2000.

City officials responded at the time by installing metal barriers at the three park entrance points to block vehicle access to the enclosed green space.

“The City acknowledged this concern raised by the residents and the lane was subsequently closed off by using bollards; restricting vehicle access from Bonny Avenue, Oak Street and Williams Street,” according to the city staff report.

Now, potential for those same safety concerns are becoming an issue once again. Increased noise, vandalism, and theft due to easy access to the park are among the concerns.

More than 100 homes on Riverside enter their properties from Riverside Drive. But the proposed townhouse development would see owners enter and exit through the public park space.

A number of residents who live around the “courtyard” park are trying to get the word out to their affected neighbours, who may be unaware of the proposed development and rezoning hearing on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. If approved it could see part of the park lane way paved, and the park reopened to traffic from the Williams Street entrance.

Riverside residents have been officially notified about the rezoning proposal, but other nearby residents may not live in properties that require official notification from City of Chilliwack.

The rezoning hearing is set for Nov. 3 to facilitate a 10-lot residential subdivision on 46118 and 46136 Riverside Drive by Richland Ventures Ltd. The plan calls for existing structures on the properties to be removed at the time of subdivision.

The developer has said the lane will be used as “a secondary access” for future residents, as well as for emergency response purposes.

“The applicant is also proposing 1.2m high bollards adjacent to the park along the lane way up to the development in order to alleviate concerns raised from members of the community,” according to the staff report.

Also no parking and fire lane signage will be required by the city, “as a means of limiting future vehicle access” in the park area, said the report.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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