Thursday, March 5, 2009

Green Light For Boys And Girls Club In Caroline

The Village Council Chamber was packed last Wednesday morning for a Municipal Planning Commission meeting to deal with a proposal from the Rocky Youth Development Society to develop a dedicated site for its Boys and Girls Club programming in Caroline. The building in question, which has been leased by the society, is located on 50th Avenue at the west end of the village, across the road from Caroline Supplies. It is currently vacant and the development proposal includes internal building upgrades and the establishment of a movie theater which can be accessed by the general public.

MPC Chairperson Kim Ceasor called the meeting to order shortly after 9am and gave those present an opportunity to present their cases and concerns before she and the other MPC members (Al Toovey and Councillor Van Dijk) discussed and made a decision on the proposal from the Rocky Youth Development Society.

Village CAO Tyler McKinnon, who is also Caroline's Development Officer, was present to give advice to the MPC during its deliberations and gave the initial presentation to those present about the proposal before the MPC, and Village requirements as per its Land Use Bylaw.

Rocky Youth Development Society President Greg Imeson made a presentation for the proposal and noted that the building had been inspected and found to be up to code. A 100 seat movie theater is planned with 18 spaces being needed for parking, which includes 7 spaces behind the building. Movie showings would be at 7pm, Thursday through Sunday. An after-school program will be hosted in the building on school days until 6pm under the supervision of staff and volunteers.

Caroline resident Al Grimshaw said that the location on a main thoroughfare was not good and suggested that the Boys and Girls Club should be hosted in the Caroline Complex following its planned expansion. A similar view was also expressed by Chris George.

Caroline Supplies owner Reg Dean said that he was not against Boys and Girls Clubs, or the activities they promote, but was against the chosen location. His main concerns were inadequate parking for the intended use of the building, traffic along the highway, congregation of youth next to his retail establishment and their negative impact on his clientelle and building deficiencies in relation to its intended use. He suggested that the Boys and Girls Club should work with the Rec/Ag Society to secure a space in the new complex.

Following its deliberations, the MPC approved the development application with the following conditions as per the minutes of the meeting: “a) All construction is undertaken in accordance with all required building permits and standards, and abides by all applicable legislation and bylaws. b) Use the 1 space to 6 seats for parking concerns as per the Land Use By-law. c) The pickup and drop-off of the Youth for the Clearwater Boys and Girls Club be at the back entrance to the building for safety reasons.”

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