The Comox Valley Regional District will be temporarily closing the Bates Road parking lot in Seal Bay Nature Park to begin work on upgrading the parking area. The parking lot will be closed from Nov. 5 to Dec. 24. Leighton Contracting has been awarded the project which is being funded through Community Works Funds.
During this time there will be no access to Coupland and Seal Loops, or the Don Apps Trail from Bates Road. Residents are being encouraged to access the park via the Hardy Road parking lot at 2201 Hardy, accessed from either Island Highway 19A or Coleman Road. Anyone wishing to access the Seal Bay beaches can use the Seabank Road and Seacliff Road entrances, but should be aware parking is limited at these locations.
“The improvements will make both visitor parking and access to the trails safer,” said parks manager Mark Harrison. “The current parking area is inadequate and unsafe given the amount of use it receives. We appreciate everyone’s patience as we work to create a safer, more accessible parking area for everyone to utilize.”
The new design will have a single entry/exit point for vehicles and provide park users a single crossing area across Bates Road at the most northerly end of the existing parking lot. It will also increase parking capacity from the existing 35 stalls to 71, including five designated accessible stalls. Other improvements include a new outhouse, bike rack, garbage and recycling bins. The design strives to minimize environmental impacts primarily by expanding the existing parking area rather than clearing and developing a new site. For every tree having to be removed, the CVRD will be planting two new trees.