The One Mile Lake master plan was a long time in the making — with a notable interruption by the 2016 water crisis in Pemberton. But the plan is complete and was adopted last month by the Village of Pemberton (VOP) council.
"We started off with an online survey in the fall of 2015," said VOP Planner Lisa Pedrini. "Then we had a final draft, then put that out to the community and did another survey that basically was looking for feedback on the draft, which was presented to council late in 2016," she said.
One Mile Lake is a recreational beacon, not only for those in Pemberton, but for users in the entire Sea to Sky corridor. And any changes, modifications, additions or updates to the area need user input.
"Community planning is all about engagement," said Pedrini. "You don't create a plan without speaking to those most affected by it."
Throughout the roughly 13-month process to create the master plan, Pedrini said there were a few moments that gave her pause.
"I think what surprised me is there's definitely quite a verbal contingent of the public that want to see One Mile Lake deemed an off-leash area. But in the results of the survey, the majority of those who responded preferred it be kept as is, which means it is an on-leash park, except for the dog beach," she said.
Pedrini said there is no other off-leash dog area in the VOP. The plan recommends that dog walkers who wish to allow their pets to run off-leash be permitted to use the trail along the rearing channel and, once protective fencing is installed, also use the service road — which follows Pemberton Creek — to the Nature Centre.
"The other thing that surprised me is there are lots of people who wanted to see various improvements to the beach area," she said. "It may be the modern conveniences — like maybe having a flush toilet... a place to change a baby, a place to change kids, a shower to wash off after swimming.
"But unfortunately the park isn't serviced, and to bring those types of services in would be very cost prohibitive. And there was definitely a noticeable portion of people that took the survey who said (the park) is perfect, just leave it as it is."
The plan includes recommendations to improve the main beach, the floating dock and the dog beach, as well as improving highway signage, and trail and path work.
With the plan now adopted by council, the next step is to seek funding to implement the improvements and work with community groups, Pedrini said.
"The park itself serves ecological purposes so let's not interfere with those and let's keep it as natural as possible while still improving some of the amenities," Pedrini said.