Comox councillor pitches outdoor food court concept

Russ Arnott asked council to consider converting five Marina Park parking spaces for a food/craft court

  • Feb. 11, 2015 7:00 p.m.

Erin Haluschak

Record Staff

Noting a need and desire near Comox Marina Park for a greater food service, Comox Coun. Russ Arnott asked Comox council  to consider converting five parking spaces for a food/craft court for the upcoming summer season.

Arnott said he knows the one trailer which is currently serving the marina area has proven itself with great success.

“(They) are being an important service in some area, and I think this would become a nice little gathering space. This could be a place where people could go down, and have a meal,” he noted. “…  I just hope people can see that this is perhaps the beginning, the first step into vitalization and making something happen.”

He proposed the five spaces would be adjacent to the marina, and barricaded with cement, fencing or a blockade.

Coun. Barbara Price and Marg Grant supported the idea but expressed concerns over the parking spots, particularly loading/unloading boats and insufficient parking.

Arnott explained as a tenant of the marina, he understands the parking spots do not belong to the users, rather the entire community.

“This is just taking a piece of the park and bringing more people down into it.”

Comox Mayor Paul Ives noted his concern for conflict with the town’s upcoming application for a Marina Park revitalization grant, in addition to any infrastructure concerns for food trucks or vendors.

“If we do this, I want to make sure the infrastructure is appropriate. Overall, if you create this, and it’s a huge success then great, but if our project proceeds, then you’re going to create some issues getting people out of there to make that project happen.”

Council approved a staff report, but Richard Kanigan, the town’s CAO, said it may not be ready for another month.

“A month and a half away, we might lose them,” replied Arnott. “We need to show this is something we’re interested in and hopefully hold onto them, and hope they don’t go somewhere else.”

Ives added while the town has had inquires for vendors, he hasn’t heard many “clamouring at the gates. It’s one thing to do it in Vancouver or Victoria with a much larger population, but yes, it’s worth a shot here.”

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