Complete Notes of Discussion Tables
Memorable places and why you like them:
· Tofino: good energy, buildings close to the street, events happen in the streets.
· parking on the street shoulders which calms traffic & doesn’t seem to bother pedestrians-still walkable.
· Revelstoke: Main Street has all that is needed.
· Bandstand nearby which is surrounded by businesses, even though it is near a highway where all people drive through.
· Coombs Centre - Goats & commercial core is interesting and dense - in the middle of nowhere but a vibrant economy happening...
What do/don’t you like about the Village Core?-+
· Parking in Folk Life & in other malls. Why does it have to be front and centre? Couldn’t it be moved to the rear? Why next to the cafe’s? Why not a green space to look at?
· CCCU parking, yuuk!
· Question: Could we get street improvements like cafe’s and benches so we don’t have to look at cars?
· Our beaches are world class & it is because the parking is away from the beach.
· Cross walks: Why not at the corner where everyone needs to cross? It is very dangerous for people walking and crossing from Robert’s to FLV and from the school to the Commons. Why is it 10 feet in the wrong place? There is no safe connection - routes are not safe.
· Density is good, greenspace in the middle of FLV was the plan - the vision was there but no regulation to force this to happen.
· Huxley park access is dodgy.
· Need to slow down traffic! cobblestone traffic calming or some such method, rumble strip…
· have to go through the village to get to the ferry.
· unlit crosswalks ( visibility) feels very dangerous crossing the street at night. Could cross walks be lit?
· speed through the village - why not just lower the speed limit?
· How realistic is this visioning process? Could we get a pool and ice rink? Answer: it’s all about the money and taxes willing to pay.
· What about the demographic clash of senior and young families? Answer: More about the clash in social conservative & liberal rather than demographics…there is a shift to younger demographic power such as the Island Trust Representatives.
· GERTIE example it took 8 years but it happened! Cyclepaths, made progress with MoTI.
· Question: Could we have a bandshell for Huxley Park? 150 seats? Answer: an open stage is in the current plan, without a cover (so far).
· Question: can the island sustain more people? What about grey water, compost toilets, water collection & cistern should be required for all housing.
· Question: are people regulated to pump out their septic tank on a regular basis? Why not? What about the economics?
· Comment: in Cowichan District - you can pay a building inspector to come out and inspect composting toilets as an alternative to having a septic field, the cost is something like $70. per visit (twice per year) …saving all that money for a septic field
· Tourism: We should be encouraging tourism as an island economy in a bigger way.
· Alternative village centres:
· What about the area behind the Skol? What about traffic access/egress from ferry?
· What about a village at Whalebone?
· What about a village at the South end? - it used to have Maranantha, grocery, Artworks, etc.
· Design: Could we have a West Coast aesthetic & vernacular design so it looks more like what we are?
What do you like about the current Village and what could be improved?
· not enough cohesion, things/buildings feel separate from one another
· no sense of core area
· lack of signage
· walkability should be improved
· village core should reflect the values of Gabriola: at the moment it does not
What should the village look like in 20, 50 etc. years? What is your vision for the future?
· true funky local vibe
· sustainability for residents and environment
· cultural hub of arts, socializing and commerce
· more residences in Village area to add to the fabric of the area
Is there anything you would like to emphasize….
· that the current bylaws are breaking the spirit of the island
· the no signs and no ads on ferry hill are not helping the community grow and flourish
· the islands Trust needs to re-evaluate their role in our community
· the mandate of the trust is not only to preserve and protect the land but also the unique people that live on the islands
· more and more bylaws stifle and choke communities
Is the current zoning creating the village you want?
· the zoning is rigid and archaic, need to look at progressive ways to grow as a community
· not saying that we need tons of development just out of the box thoughts on where we want to go as a community
· mixed housing zoning
· Emcon area should be mixed housing, young families and seniors living side by side
· more residential zoning for the village core
· housing options that are not just one house per lot would help younger demographic stay/live here
Where would a town square be best located?
· unanimous Lochinvar triangle land
Anything you want to emphasize or add to the comments from session two?
· nightly vacation rentals should be looked at being brought back
· accommodations are limited here, if we want to stimulate economy this is a very viable way to do so
· can have year round course on gabriola making it a play and stay and learn destination, however the accommodation options is what holds that back
· there can be parameters to the nightly rentals that allows less impact on the island in terms of water etc.
· people come here for purpose beyond jobs, make your own business.
· some people do count on commuting
· The village is a social centre for the island
· Huxley Park is too tucked behind. Gabriolans like to gather could use more evening focused space, hang-out, lights, The Commons should be involved... there is a lot of space
· Zocolo, piazza – centres of small community life.
· Alterative Housing choices:
o extended care housing
o aging population
o the ability to have additional rentals.
o integrating seniors.
· Lochinvar Triangle: identify the road-blocks to redevelopment as a Village Core.
· Natural materials, and small scale buildings.
· Maybe we could pitch somehow creating square in Folklife Village.
· Tourists come here for an island experience, not an urban experience.
· Close Lochinvar... encourage wandering.
· Getting community groups involved.
· Supporting mixed use zoning, housing above stores, for safety,
· Better trails for commuting. -
· More housing closer to the village - so don't need car as much.
· Supports mixed use zoning, 2 story buildings.
· Open to studying 2-3 stories or even more if well designed.
· Mixed age housing. Get creative.
· Public housing.
· Church St. should be walkable.
· Zoning - should be more supportive, less restrictive, based on actual concerns. Allow for it to evolve.