The question facing Saanich council is not simply whether they should turn down or approve the tennis clay courts proposal for Cedar Hill Park.
The real question is: “What is the best use of this property to provide for the unmet needs of the greatest number of community members, while staying within budgetary constraints?”
Let me restate that in language everyone understands. As a Saanich taxpayer I want the biggest bang for my buck. I want to ensure that my parks and recreation tax dollars are being well spent to provide services to the community.
Exactly who are these community members and what needs are not currently being met? It is families with young children (and grandparents) who have no playground area in Cedar Hill Park.
Beacon Hill has two new, beautiful playground areas. Cedar Hill Park has nothing; no outdoor facilities for families and young children. Currently there are no outdoor facilities for seniors with mobility issues or persons with disabilities.
Cedar Hill Park has wonderful walking trails, but they are not designed for strollers, young children or people with mobility issues.
I would like to see an attractive new playground alongside groomed walking trails for families, seniors and people with disabilities. This could include a reclaimed wetland “garden” featuring indigenous species along parts of the trails.
This proposal provides the greatest “substantial benefit” for the largest number of community members, while actually costing us taxpayers substantially less compared to the ongoing tax commitment for the clay courts proposal.