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Change Discovery Bay event rules, says councillor

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Islands District Council member (Discovery Bay) Amy Yung will appeal to amend the City Rules at the next City Owners’ Committee meeting.

In an email to DB residents, Amy said she will propose at the October meeting that the rules to control events held on public recreational facilities in Discovery Bay, such as Tai Pak beach, the DB Plaza and Central Park be amended.

The move comes after large crowds descended on Discovery Bay’s Tai Pak Beach last month with the inflatable slide and wine festival on the same weekend.

READ MORE: Call for changes after busy weekend in Discovery Bay

READ MORE: Response to Discovery Bay Tai Pak Beach event concerns

AMY YUNG’S EMAIL TO RESIDENTS:

Dear DB residents,

Re: Events Organized by Hong Kong Resort Company Limited (HKR) at the Beach

We make Discovery Bay our home because we enjoy the natural environment, the beach, the mountains and, most importantly, the tranquil life.

After the launch of D’Deck in 2006, more and more commercial events have been organized at the beach and plaza. Whilst we have no objection to outsiders visiting DB, we do have concerns about large crowds and the nuisance caused to residents. The Easter Egg Hunt, held annually since 2010, has been particularly contentious.

I have raised concerns about the poor management of these events at the City Owners’ Committee (COC) meetings many times to no avail. Crucially, there has never been unanimous support from the members of the COC to my pleas for better control.

In 2004, as a result of a complaint that I had made to the Director of Audit, the beach, plaza, Central Park, cycle path and hiking trails in DB were declared Public Recreational Facilities (PRF). Despite this decision, HKR continued to force the residential owners to pay for the upkeep of these areas. With the number of commercial events growing, I started to ask why we the residents were paying for security, cleaning, etc. of the PRF, when HKR was using these areas for commercial gain. After a concerted effort by Mr. Andrew Burns and myself, in 2012 the government stepped in to require that HKR stop charging the residential owners and take up management and maintenance responsibility for the PRF as required under the Land Grant. We are saving millions of dollars annually in lower management fees as a result.

In August this year, HKR organized a series of functions at the beach, with the giant inflatable slide as the showpiece. It was evident that HKR was unprepared for the large crowds that arrived in DB, and they provided almost no support to control the huge influx. This is unacceptable.

I received many complaints about the crowds, safety, transport, noise, litter, behaviour, inconvenience to residents, etc. With no control exercised by HKR, residents highlighted that the beach promenade was un-walkable; the new showers were ill-located; toilets were overcrowded and some visitors simply urinated in the wooded area next to the beach; skimpy swim costumes were worn in the plaza, the supermarket, in shops and in our residential areas – the list goes on.

It was nothing short of irresponsible for HKR to erect a shower unit next to the promenade near Beach Village, and to erect a three-storey high slide about 30m in front of prime beach-front residences, spoiling the ambience and obstructing residents’ views.

Whenever events are held, HKR should ensure sufficient transportation is provided for their customers, so that DB residents do not have to wait in long lines to go out or come home via the residents’ service (our bus) and the ferry. HKR should also have a strategy in place for reducing waste and promoting recycling wherever possible.

City Management has overall management responsibility for all of Discovery Bay City. It has the power to amend the City Rules to set standards for events at the beach, the plaza and Central Park. At the next COC meeting I will propose that the City Rules be updated to control all events held on the PRF in future. Please write to your Village Chairperson to urge them to support me!

Working together, we can protect our living environment!

Yours sincerely,
Amy Yung
Islands District Council Member (Discovery Bay)

 

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