Residents of a condominium across from Ken Forde Park and boat ramp are tired of the noise, drinking, litter and fires generated by young adults congregating in the park’s parking lot.
For over a year whenever it is decent weather [spring, summer and fall] there are a number of young adults that congregate in the parking lot, mostly in the north end where the long parking spaces are located,” Chris Merrick, president of the Willows Oceanside Strata Council, said in a letter to city council. “They are there for varying amounts of time in the evenings until the early morning, generally for greater than an hour, at times 2 - 3 hours. There is continuous noise from loud talking, laughing, yelling, loud playing of music, vehicle motors idling, revving of engines, and vehicles with loud faulty or altered mufflers and screeching tires. We have also observed a number of serious and dangerous vehicle-driving actions in the parking lot, donuts, speeding, sudden stops with screeching tires.”
Merrick’s letter was dated July 16 and was included in the agenda package of council’s Aug. 17 regular council meeting and was discussed by councillors.
In addition, when leaving the parking lot via the south entrance, there are numerous occasions where the vehicles roar the engine and travel at a high rate of speed towards the intersection of Erickson Road, Merrick said.
“On most occasions the following morning there is a fair amount of litter in the parking lot where they were congregating [cigarette buts, paper, plastic lids, and containers],” Merrick said. “At times they have beach fires, staying there at times until 2 a.m. There is consumption of alcohol, loud talking, yelling and laughing. On a number of occasions the following morning, the Fire Department had to be called to extinguish the remains of a smoking fire.
“This year there have been fires on the path of the breakwater rocks beside the boat launch. We consider this very serious as the fires are on the top of the breakwater high above the water with many logs and bush around that could easily catch fire. In the morning there are beer cans left around. These occurrences and problems have increased with the improvement of the weather over the last number of weeks. We have had our sleep, peace and quiet interrupted whenever these persons gather in the parking lot or beach area. We cannot enjoy the comfort of our homes due to the constant disturbance.”
This isn’t the first time, the strata has complained about the behaviour. Last year, the building’s Strata Management Company wrote a letter to city council expressing concern about these issues.
At the Aug. 17 council meeting, a motion put forward by Coun. Charlie Cornfield will get a report outlining measures the RCMP, fire department and bylaw enforcement could take to discourage negative behaviour at that location.
“Sometimes a blitz works very well,” Cornfield said. “The fact that there is a presence after hours can make all the difference in the world.”
Cornfield’s motion was passed.