Central Park: Kitsilano Beach eyed for paddleboard rental

If all goes well, Kits Beach will soon be added to the locations where visitors can rent standup paddleboards.

Vision Vancouver park board chair Sarah Blyth says the plan hasn't been officially approved but she supports it.

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"We like to encourage healthy lifestyles and watersports so this is a great fit," said Blyth, who has yet to try the sport.

There are already rental kiosks located at Locarno Beach and English Bay. The sport, extremely popular in warm locations such as California and Hawaii, involves standing on a specialized surfboard and using an elongated paddle to propel the paddler through the water.

Blyth notes the wave conditions in Vancouver are ideal for standup paddling and the sport is non-polluting.

According to a staff report, a three-year operating agreement would be granted to Vancouver Water Adventures to operate a paddleboard rental concession at Kits Beach.

The fee structure will be set at the greater part of a $5,250 minimum annual base fee or seven per cent of the annual gross revenues up to $100,000 and 8.5 per cent over $100,000.

The board is expected to approve the recommendation at its Feb. 25 meeting.

Skate park controversy

Blyth also spoke with me regarding the skate "spot" at Mount Pleasant Park, which is off Ontario Street and bordered by West 15th and 16th avenues to the north and south.

I've written several stories since 2011 regarding unhappy neighbours of the park complaining about noise levels. It seems these residents are still unhappy and I've been receiving emails once again outlining their concerns. Some residents have taken to calling police due to the noise late at night.

Blyth says a meeting planned for March, with a date yet to be determined, should offer solutions to the ongoing issues.

Sharma says no comment

And finally, the Courier recently posted a short video of Green Party Coun. Adriane Carr speaking about the community centre association controversy. The park board is attempting to centralize the way community centres operate and introduce a new financial model, which would see revenues pooled and distributed by the board.

The Courier also sought to shoot a video with a Vision Vancouver park board commissioner. Initially, Vision Vancouver commissioner Niki Sharma agreed to the interview, but cancelled Monday due to the fact negotiations are back on the table. Sharma said she won't be commenting publicly on the debate at this time.

sthomas@vancourier.com

twitter.com/sthomas10

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