Council orders fence return to Sawicki Park

Vernon city staff removed the fence April 12 to improve sight lines

A fence is going back up at a Vernon park.

Council directed staff Monday to consider options for a fence around Sawicki Park on Middleton Way after its removal April 12 led to numerous public complaints.

“The opposition to it is unanimous,” said Coun. Scott Anderson.

“No one thinks it’s a good idea.”

Coun. Brian Quiring is concerned a child may dash out on to Middleton Way, which has a 30-kilometre-an-hour speed zone, which many motorists don’t follow.

“People rip down that road and I heard that within days of the fence going down, there was a near-miss,” he said.

Staff’s argument that there aren’t fences around other parks didn’t go over well with Coun. Juliette Cunningham.

“The one size fits all approach doesn’t always work,” she said.

“You can’t compare the speed on this road to Armoury Park or Kin Beach.”

Staff say the fence was taken down to improve sight lines and to improve access in and out of the park instead of the limited gates now.

“If someone is chasing you in the park, you;d have to go to one of the entrances to get out,” said Kendra Kryszak, parks planner.

Support for staff came from Coun. Catherine Lord.

“If you are going to take children to the playground, you will be with them. Why do we need a fence there?” she said.

Mayor Akbal Mund is reluctant to see fences come down at other parks, including Lakeview.

“That’s a busy park with the (peanut) pool so I hope that’s not on the list,” he said.