Times Colonist

Peninsula is no longer friendly to families

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I briefly considered purchasing property in Dean Park Estates in the mid-1980s and I remember the Panorama Recreation Centre as being one of the selling points.

The recreation centre was fairly new then, having opened in 1977.

The majority of Dean Park Estates was developed during the late 1980s, and those who purchased properties overlookin­g the centre must have considered that the benefit of living near the public facility — even though it obviously would undergo changes in future — outweighed any detraction.

As it grew, Dean Park Estates was thought of as a good middle-class family community.

A decade ago, when my children regularly enrolled in both weekend and summer recreation programs at the centre, there were always scores of children similarly enrolled, a large number of whom likely were residents of the Dean Park Estates.

Now, a decade later, five elementary schools serving the Sidney and North Saanich districts have been reduced to three and a contingent of residents in Dean Park Estates have joined forces to make sure Panorama’s proposed waterslide tower is not built.

If they and the 300 individual­s of the Dean Park Estates Community Associatio­n are representa­tive of the once “family-friendly” neighbourh­ood now, then the place has certainly changed.

The North Saanich council’s recent decision to not allow the waterslide tower as planned is simply another sign that it is not making decisions to benefit working families. Terri Elderton North Saanich

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