Seal Bay Regional Nature Park and Forest is pictured in a Vista Radio file photo (MyComoxValleyNow.com staff photo)
COURTENAY, B.C- Parking lots could be moving and growing at a popular park in the Comox Valley.
According to Doug DeMarzo, the manager of Parks for the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), changes being considered for Seal Bay Regional Nature Park include a move for the Hardy Road parking lot, and a possible expansion for the Bates Road lot.
A shift in trail-use patterns is being considered as well, with the possibility of a pedestrian-only route and areas of more intense recreation use.
The considerations are part of an update to the master plan that governs how the park is managed.
“Updates to the 1998 master plan began in 2015 with user surveys followed by a public open house in 2016,” read a release issued by the CVRD on Thursday.
“Since that time, this public input has been compiled and reviewed and an initial management plan has been drafted to reflect user input and park stewardship goals.”
The current Hardy Road lot would be moved up the road to a field, which allow for a larger space and possible trailer park use. The former parking lot site would be returned to nature.
“We’re at that point to come out and ask,” said DeMarzo.
“What we’ve seen from our previous surveys, I think we’re on the right track, but that’s why we’re going to the open house again, to get feedback from the public.”
The Bates Road lot, which is located in the middle of the park, is being considered for expansion and the installation of additional safety measures.
“We’ve also looked at the zoning in the park as far as conservation use, and there might be a higher use possible in the future,” said DeMarzo.
“We’ve identified a few areas where higher use could be possible, for more intense recreation use. Those will also be at the public open house, which is a little different approach than people have seen in the past with the Seal Bay master plans.”
An open house on the plan will be held between 4:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 16, at the gym of Huband Elementary School.
Parks staff will be doing brief presentations on the trail concept plan at 4:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.