A rendition of the redesigned Mack Laing viewing platform in Comox.

Shakesides viewing platform redesign presented to Comox council

An updated redesign of the proposed Shakesides viewing platform in Mack Laing Park was approved by council Wednesday, following feedback from both council and the public.

Al Fraser, parks superintendent for the town said he and Tim O’Brien of Outlook Engineering and Landscape Architecture “thoroughly digested the comment sheets … and tried our best to fulfill many of the asks and wishes from the open house (held in March) and council.

RELATED: Mack Laing workshop draws considerable interest in Comox

Fraser said the new design is not radically different from the original concept but does include a boardwalk extension to tie both the Shakesides and Baybrook properties together.

Due to concerns around the structural integrity, Fraser explained they were apprehensive to close the roof to the new design completely. He added the area can also be damp and dark, and closing the roof completely “could further constitute gatherings that we don’t desire.”

Coun. Maureen Swift inquired about the effect of rising tides on the new design and proposed structure, and Fraser said some of the building material will be tide-proof.

“I think if we had water lapping up, I don’t think it would be that damaging.”

Coun. Pat McKenna inquired about the option of including a bronze statue of Mack Laing, which Fraser said would cost between $60,000 to $70,000.

The updated design was approved unanimously.

• • •

Despite the announcement earlier this year of the cancellation of the Originals Only Arts Show in Comox, a new version of the event is set for August.

At Comox’s committee of the whole meeting Wednesday, Sarah Puetz said Island Originals is set to take place at Marina Park the weekend of Aug. 10 and 11, and will be “essentially the same” as the previous event.

RELATED: Lack of working agreement results in Originals Only Art Show cancellation

“It is a large group of artists engaging with the community in viewing and seeing art,” she explained to council.

An inability to come to terms with the Town of Comox on a mutual working agreement led to the cancellation of the Originals Only Art Show, which took place for more than a decade on an annual basis during the second weekend in August.

Puetz appeared before council to ask if the fees for Marina Park could be waived for the event.

Council confirmed with Ted Hagmeier, recreation director for the town, that the Town of Comox will no longer be acting as a liability, as they will not be affiliated with the event.

“It’s great to see (the event) won’t be skipping a beat,” said Mayor Russ Arnott.

Coun. Ken Grant made a motion to wave the park fees for the event, as he noted he likes seeing the park used and full of people.

The motion was passed unanimously.


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