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Our take: It took too long, but at least they got it right
Sometimes the process of local government decision-making seems to take forever.
Sometimes it actually does.
Look no further than the case of the Chemainus skateboard park.
Consider this: many of the legion of kids we expect to be riding the rails at the park sometime later this year were in diapers — or not even born — when debate about this project began.
The idea of series of regional skateparks was first floated around the Cowichan Valley Regional District board table in the ‘90s before a plan to build five was concocted.
The parks in Duncan and Ladysmith have been operational so long, it’s hard to picture what it was like before they arrived. The parks in Mill Bay and Lake Cowichan followed in relatively short order.
But the kids in Chemainus waited...and waited...and waited.
The argument always revolved around location. Public lands that were deemed “suitable” in other ways were consistently too far from town to satisfy many proponents. And sites in town were usually deemed inappopriate due to the nuisance some felt a skatepark would have created for neighbours.
Finally came what one commentator called Bart Simpson’s wildest fantasy: replacing an elementary school with a skatepark.
Some will still object, but we believe this is the best possible outcome: a central location, near users on public land already conditioned to the sounds of children playing.
Some local government decisions are too long in coming and this was certainly one of them.
However, we can’t overlook the most important lesson in all this: all is forgiven if you get it right.