Plans to build a village square in the heart of Metchosin are taking shape.
According to a recently-released report, residents would like to see a number of amenities included in a village square including a permanent playground, community garden plots, public art installations such as a graffiti wall or murals, as well as a small scale gathering space to include benches, a small band stage, and a levelled plaza-type space.
“That was to get a picture of what needs aren’t being met. In terms of gathering and public spaces and going to barbecues – those more social aspects – people are leaving the community for,” said Shannon Carman, a member of the District’s healthy community advisory committee.
“When it’s something like hockey or something that requires a venue, that makes sense, but for more social stuff there’s no reason why we shouldn’t be doing it here in Metchosin.”
The 36-page report, produced by consultants RC Strategies +PERC, combined the information gathered during several months of public consultation which included a survey and engagement sessions. Two-thirds of people were in favour of a village square being created.
Residents would like to see a potential village square that is accessible, appealing to all ages and interests and reflects the character of the community. They also expressed ideas to improve the village core including increased connectivity between spaces, better wayfinding signage, improved safety for pedestrian and cyclists, and opportunities to continue integrating more local art.
In addition to the village square, the report also suggested secondary amenities such as an upgraded bike skills park, small support building, which could include washrooms, change areas or weather shelter, a loop pathway or trail to connect to existing trails, and outdoor fitness equipment.
In the coming months the committee will be narrowing down two to three potential sites for a village square.
Carman said the committee is currently eyeingthe Metchosin Elementary school, the green space next to the Metchosin fire hall or close to where the farmers’ market takes place. The committee will then develop concept plans and seek further community input.
“Once we have the location in mind then we can start looking at design,” Carman said.
“We’ll probably have a few locations in mind with different configurations of amenities and then we’ll reflect on it and see what the community thinks and start putting together budgets and plans for governance.”