Regina Park, here seen during the height of last year’s homeless encampment, and nearby Rudd Park, remain on a list of 81 public parks, where Saanich permits temporary overnight sheltering. (Black Press File).

Saanich’s Regina Park, Rudd Park to remain open for temporary overnight sheltering

Staff recommends council reduce the list of eligible parks by 25 to 81

Two Saanich public parks used by residents of a roaming homeless camp last year remain on the list of public parks that permit temporary overnight sheltering, even as Saanich plans to shorten that list.

Both Regina Park – the main site of last year’s homeless encampment that lasted for several months – as well as nearby Rudd Park – remain on the list of 81 public parks where temporary overnight sheltering remains permissible.

Pending council approval Monday, 25 public parks will be off limits to individuals seeking temporary overnight shelter.

The pending revisions respond to concerns from the public after Saanich had amended its parks management and control bylaw to include a definition of temporary overnight sheltering while limiting temporary overnight sheltering to then 102 out of 172 public parks. See here for a list of parks said to be removed from initial list.

RELATED: Tent city in Saanich’s Regina Park shuts down

RELATED: Regina Park campers move to nearby park, plan next move

RELATED: A year in tent city: Timeline of Camp Namegans

“At the time of that amendment, [council] and staff heard from various community members regarding their desire to consider refinements to the list of parks allowable for temporary overnight sheltering,” said Sharon Hvozdanski, Saanich’s director of planning in a memo prepared by Eva Riccius, senior parks manager.

The memo says staff considered a number of criteria in their analysis including whether parks appeared landlocked, setbacks from park structures such as playgrounds and sports fields, and environmental concerns.

“Staff were judicious in analyzing the parks that are allowable for temporary overnight sheltering and worked carefully to asses each park to consider both recent Supreme Court of BC direction based on case law and the input heard from community members,” it reads.

This argument will likely not satisfy some residents, who live near Regina Park, as well as Rudd Park.

RELATED: Residents demand Saanich limit parks where homeless can shelter

RELATED: Campers face ongoing discrimination after being displaced from Saanich

Regina Park was the site of a homeless camp in 2018 that lasted for months from early spring until early fall, housing more than 100 people at its peak before authorities dissolved it following a favourable court ruling.

Several residents living around Regina Park complained to various degrees about the camp during the course of its existence, and a handful of residents living in Rudd Park openly lobbied for changes after some homeless individuals had temporarily moved to Rudd Park following their expulsion from Regina Park.

Specifically, they called for a ban on temporary overnight sheltering in parks with playgrounds or sports fields.

“During that short stay [of homeless individuals in Rudd Park], many of parents in that area didn’t allow their kids to play in that park for several days, including myself, the reason being safety,” said Lyndsay Edgar, a resident of Whittier Avenue, last year.

Pending final approval by council Monday, those efforts will appear to have been in vain.

Regardless of the outcome though, homeless individuals will not be able to set up shelter during the day in any of Saanich’s public parks.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

In a fight against cancer, Victoria man’s only stem cell match was his own donation

More mixed race and Asian stem cell donors needed, says Victoria family

VicPD warn public on fake firearms after responding to four gun calls in just five hours

Officers treat each firearm as a real weapon until they can determine it isn’t, say police

Bridges for Women grad takes on new business idea

Victoria woman puts her lessons into action with Sweeping Beauty Concierge

Howard the Gnome finds a home at Galey Farms

Eight-metre gnome expected to greet visitors to Saanich farm this fall

Famous Floyd’s to open in Royal Oak

Building in Saanich turns iconic pink of local breakfast chain

VIDEO: 13-year-old killed in B.C. crash that involved five kids

The children range in age from six to 17.

POLL: Do you still have a landline telephone?

With smart phones becoming an indispensable part of modern-day life, more and… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

MPs denounce leaked reports of Trudeau-JWR clash over Supreme Court pick

Opposition MPs called the leaks an act of desperation meant to smear Wilson-Raybould

Study says B.C.’s housing policies mean drug users can be targeted for eviction

The study involves 50 people living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

VIDEO: Homicide team called in after three killed in Surrey car crash

Investigators ask public to come forward with information, dashcam video

Stranger climbs onto B.C. family’s second-floor balcony, lights fire in barbecue

Incident in Abbotsford terrifies family with two-year-old boy

UPDATED: Sailings resume after BC Ferries boat hits Langdale terminal

The Queen of Surrey is stuck on the dock, causing delays to Horseshoe Bay trips

Eviction halted for B.C. woman deemed ‘too young’ for seniors’ home

Zoe Nagler, 46, had been given notice after living in the seniors complex in Comox for six years

Most Read