Otter Point & Shirley Residents & Ratepayers Association

 

Annual General Meeting

Held on Tuesday, February 17, 2004

At the Otter Point Fire Hall, 3727 Otter Point Road at 7:30 p.m.

 

Present:          Ken Pungente (President), Arnie Campbell (Vice President), Wendy Miller (Secretary Treasurer), Virginia Boyd, Mitch Moneo, Wendy Morton, Frances Stocks, Byron Tweedy

Public:            Approximately18

Press:              0

 

The President called the meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.

 

1.            President’s Report

 

The President provided a summary of OPSRRA activities since February 2003: 

 

1)      Executive and directors have met eight times and hosted three public meetings.

2)      Monthly newsletter published on-line on OPSRRA website.

3)      Attended meeting on proposed pesticide spraying in Shirley/Jordan River.

4)      Wrote the provincial ministry expressing concern about allowing spraying close to human settlement and potable water sources. 

5)      Corresponded with CRD, MLA and JDF Regional Director to have the voters list updated.

6)      Corresponded with BC Transit requesting restoration of local bus line to Sooke.

7)      Corresponded with District of Sooke concerning support for sewers but opposition to sewage outfall.

8)      Attended meetings on lot averaging proposal (Sheringham Estates) in Shirley.

9)      Wrote the JDF Regional Director and the Province expressing disagreement with the Province allowing lot averaging contrary to the Otter Point/Shirley OCP.

10)    Corresponded with SD #62 to register opposition to school bus levy.

11)    Corresponded with BC Timer Sales and Minister of Forests regarding proposal to log crown land in Kemp Lake watershed.

12)    Kept in touch with the senior CRD planner responsible for the Regional Growth Strategy.

13)    Opposed JDF Regional Director’s plan to develop a separate Official Community Plan for Shirley – thereby excluding Jordan River.

14)    Lobbied the JDF Regional Director to move forward on identifying Urban Containment Boundaries.

15)    Corresponded with CRD Noise bylaw to clarify compliance of Forest Lumber Company’s proposed saw and planner mill with Bylaw No. 1527.

16)    Corresponded with TimberWest to clarify their intended reopening of the Otter Point Road dry land log sort twenty-four hours a day.

17)    Met with TimberWest to identify where they intended using pesticide sprays in 2004.

18)    Kept membership informed on proposed boundary restructure (amalgamation).

19)    Attended Land Use Committee “A” meetings.

20)    Supported the JDF Regional Director’s effort to get a local Approving Officer appointed.

21)    Contacted TimberWest to request that they hold a public meeting prior to logging their property on Poirier Lake and informed them that they were falling trees within the minimum allowable setback in the Otter point/Shirley OCP.

22)    Wrote the JDF Regional Director asking for assistance in protecting the water quality and fish habitat of Poirier Lake.

23)    Wrote the JDF Regional Director to express support for the local Advisory Planning Commission and the need for these meetings to be publicly advertised.

 

Regarding point #13, the President reported that the Shirley OCP now encompasses Jordan River and lands beyond.

 

As to point #23, it was reported that sufficient public notice was not given regarding a meeting of the APC to review the De Mamiel Estates application which proposes to develop along the salmon bearing habitat of De Mamiel Creek and Rocky Creek.  Although the property rests primarily in the Electoral Area, written notice was only sent to adjacent property owners, the majority of which reside in Sooke.

 

Bruce Lemire-Elmore asked if OPSRRA has received any written responses to the noted enquiries. 

 

The Vice President advised that the majority of responses are posted on OPSRRA’s on-line newsletter.  The Vice President confirmed that responses have been received for point #5, #7, #15, #16 and #20.

 

In regards to point #6, it was reported that correspondence was received from the Regional Director requesting representation on a transit committee.  It was advised that Director Moneo volunteered but that the committee has not progressed. 

 

As to status of the Kemp Lake watershed, it was advised that under the CRD the watershed is considered a designated watershed.  Although correspondence has been issued by OPSRRA and the Regional Director, it is unclear as to which provincial agency has the authority to register the body as a protected watershed.  It is understood that logging in the watershed and dedication of adjacent land as a mountain bike park has been proposed.  It is also understood that numerous attempts for definition have been pursued over the last few years.  Approaching the MLA and working jointly with the Kemp Lake water district was suggested.    

 

As to point #14, it was confirmed that OPSRRA did not request any specific boundaries.

 

Heather Phillips reported that a Times Colonist article had indicated that BC Transit was considering implementation of a mini bus service in 2005.  It was suggested that BC Transit should be approached confirming such a service for the Electoral Area.  Although the BC Transit Commission may have a long range plan, it was advised that projects must receive approval on an annual basis.   

 

2.            Treasurer’s Report

 

It was advised that OPSRRA annually submits a financial report to the Ministry of Finance as required in accordance to the Society Act. 

 

In 2003 total:

-         income was $225.00

-         expenditure was $159.54

 

For a balance in October 2003 of $346.00

 

It was advised that expenditures generally reflect advertising, financial reporting and website costs. 

 

It was advised that the association’s current balance as of January 20, 2004 is $333.87

 

MOVED BY DIRECTOR MONEO

SECONDED BY DIRECTOR TWEEDY THAT the Treasurer’s Report be accepted.

CARRIED.

 

3.            Secretary’s Report

 

It was reported that the last Annual General Meeting was held on January 21, 2003 with approximately thirty-one members in attendance. 

 

Discussion topics at that meeting included:

-         Regional Growth Strategy

-         Pesticide spraying in Shirley and Jordan River

-         Proposed logging in the Kemp Lake watershed

-         Governance options

-         Association elections

-         Website update

-         Bylaw 3009 (amenity bonusing)

-         Regional Director Report

-         Restructuring assistance grant

-         Treasurer’s Report

 

MOVED BY DIRECTOR TWEEDY

SECONDED BY DIRECTOR MORTON THAT the minutes of the January 21, 2003 Annual General Meeting be approved.                                                         CARRIED.

 

4.            Information Updates

 

a)   Boundary Restructure

 

The Vice President reported that the Boundary Restructure Committee was last scheduled to meet on December 4 following public meetings in East Sooke, Shirley and Otter Point.  It was advised that the December meeting was cancelled on the basis that a response by the Province had not been received regarding

-         bridge replacement at Roche Cove

-         turn over of a gravel pit to the District of Sooke

-         extended subsidy for policing

-         confirmation of ability to increase forest land taxation

 

It was advised that the Boundary Restructure Committee reconvened last week.  It was advised that it has been decided that if a favourably response is not received by the Province within a month boundary restructure will not proceed.

 

It is understood that three Electoral Area residents contributed two years of time to the committee and that $100,000 of taxpayer money has been contributed towards the process.  On this basis, the Vice President expressed his personal opinion that the process should go to a vote.

 

b)   Official Community Plan

 

The Vice President reported that separate documents are scheduled to replace the current Official Community Plan.  The current OCP for Otter Point is approximately ten years old.  The OCP committee for Shirley/Jordan River has been struck.  Committee members for the Otter Point OCP are still required. 

 

It was advised that the current OCP will be placed on the OPSRRA website.

 

c)   Regional Growth Strategy

 

It is understood that the document is a twenty-five year plan that was compiled on a collaborative effort.  OPSRRA supported development of the document on the basis that it would protect rural communities by containing urban sprawl.  As to protection, it is now understood that the Regional Growth Strategy has some shortcomings.  To protect rural communities, the CRD planner for the Regional Growth Strategy has advised that a community’s OCP must complement the Regional Growth Strategy. 

 

Bruce Lemire-Elmore stated that the philosophy of rural development is not clearly defined in the Regional Growth Strategy.  Comments in the Regional Growth Strategy focus on urban development with the sentiment that farm land should remain farm land.  It was noted that the Regional Growth Strategy does not clearly address the life style or geography of Otter Point. 

    

d)   TimberWest – Spraying & Land Sales

 

Last fall, TimberWest submitted an application to the Province to spray between Otter Point and Port Renfrew.  The Vice President met with a TimberWest representative and it was confirmed that spraying was scheduled for an area off of Anderson Road and above Randy Place and Otter Place.  It is anticipated that spraying would begin in April 2004.  TimberWest has yet to confirm a start date. The membership was asked to forward the Vice President any new information. 

 

In past it has been questioned whether the possibility of increased taxation would influence forest companies to sell.  It was advised that TimberWest recently sold one hundred and twenty-three acres in Otter Point to De Mamiel Estates Ltd.  It is understood that a piece on Poirier Lake which has been recently logged is being considered for sale.  The land behind the Otter Point Fire Hall has also been designated for sale.  It was advised that the properties are no longer considered profitable relative to their marketability. 

 

TimberWest advised that there are managed and unmanaged forest lands.  The Poirier lands and the Otter Point Fire Hall lands are unmanaged forest lands which can be sold in the same manner as residential land.  As managed forest lands receive a tax subsidy, forest land scheduled for sale for non forestry use must reconcile its tax break with the Province.  For this reason, it is understood that there isn’t much incentive for forest companies to sell managed forest lands. 

 

Upon enquiry, it was advised that Round Up and Vision are the expected pesticide sprays.  TimberWest has received approval to spray; spraying is expected to be applied on foot. 

 

Spraying applications must report all means of application including aerial spraying.  It is understood that evaporation occurs with aerial spraying which results in a broader spray zone as the pesticides are absorbed by clouds and then released in rain.

 

Spraying is also slotted this year to eliminate spruce bud worm/gypsy moth.  It was noted that butterflies have just returned after a spray application that took place approximately three years ago.   

    

e)   OPSRRA Website & Newsletter

 

The OPSRRA website can be found at www.opsrra.com. 

 

The OPSRRA newsletter is produced monthly which can be distributed via e-mail.  Fifty members currently receive the newsletter by e-mail. 

 

The Vice President solicited the membership for e-mail addresses and residential address updates.

 

It was reported that a business service listing is also available on the website free of charge for members and available to non members by donation.

 

The current OCP and the Foreshore Access Report noting public accesses to the water will be listed on the website.  A community bulletin board will also be added.   

 

The membership extended a thank you to Sandy Barta for her contributions towards the website. 

 

5.         Election of Executive & Directors

 

The President advised that the current Executive has agreed to stand for a further term. 

 

Regional Director Erik Lund assumed the position of Chair to run elections. 

 

It was explained that, in the event that more than one member was nominated for a position, ballots would be distributed and votes collected.  At this time, the Executive joined the floor and the Regional Director proceeded to call for nominations.  By affirmation the following positions were declared:

 

President:                     Ken Pungente

Vice President:            Arnie Campbell

Secretary Treasurer:            Wendy Miller

 

By affirmation the following five Director positions were declared:

 

Director:            Virginia Boyd

Director:            Mitch Moneo

Director:            Wendy Morton

Director:            Frances Stocks

Director:            Byron Tweedy

 

The President thanked the membership for their confidence in the OPSRRA Executive in its role as a watchdog for the community.

 

6.         New Business

 

a)      Regional Director’s Update

 

The President advised that the Regional Director would be hosting a public meeting on Monday, February 23 at 7:00 p.m. at the Otter Point Fire Hall.

 

The Regional Director thanked the membership for their invitation and congratulated the community for having an organization such as OPSRRA.  It was noted that the Electoral Area would not be able to function without assistance from volunteers.  It was advised that communities should stay united to work towards common goals. 

 

The February 23 meeting will discuss:

-         the provisional budget

-         SEAPARC

-         the house numbering initiative

-         land use issues

-         the Official Community Plan

 

It was noted that the website for the Electoral Area is www.crd.bc.ca/jdf.  The site hosts a monthly newsletter and contains numerous resources including maps and minutes.  It was advised that the site links to the OPSRRA website. 

 

SEAPARC

 

It was reported that at last year’s public meeting comments were made regarding the level of taxation for SEAPARC.  Investigation revealed that approximately $20,000 of Electoral Area taxes was being used to support Sooke parks.  Consequently, action was taken to discontinue a combined parks service with the District of Sooke.  In turn, Sooke opted to discontinue is parks service with SEAPARC. 

 

Further investigation revealed that, unlike other jurisdictions, the Electoral Area is supporting its recreation/parks service solely based on assessment.  It was reported that other jurisdictions pay based on fifty percent assessment/fifty percent population.  Support based on fifty percent assessment/fifty percent population would result in a requisition savings of $191,000.  It was noted that Sooke has a population of 9,700 and that the portion of the Electoral Area supporting SEAPARC has a population of 3,700.  Of the total SEAPARC budget, the Electoral Area contributes fifty-one percent.

 

To pursue a budget based on fifty percent assessment/fifty percent population, a ministerial review is necessary.  It was advised that further action will be taken pending receipt of public petition. 

 

House Numbering Initiative

 

Upon completion of the house numbering initiative which is scheduled to conclude in September, students will be hired to update the voter’s list based on house numbering information.

 

Land Use Issues

 

It was reported that TimberWest is pursuing sale of land in TFL 46 and that TimberWest has expressed an interest in splitting deeded lands from the timber sales. CRD staff has been instructed to identify the lands in question to ensure that the lands are identified in the OCP. 

 

From discussions in Port Renfrew, it appears that TimberWest is interested in gifting parcels as a means of gaining community support for the split.  It was noted that this may be something that the community may want to investigate for obtaining lands such as Muir Creek. 

 

It was explained that deeded lands are lands that were under BC Timber Products which were in turn absorbed by Fletcher Challenge which were then inherited by TimberWest.  The Province must grant permission for sale of the deeded lands.

 

If the deeded lands are not identified in the OCP, it is understood that the CRD has no grounds to reply to the Ministry of Transportation Approving Officer.

 

Amalgamation

 

It is felt that Sooke has primarily focused on forest lands taxation.  If the Province indicates that the District of Sooke will not be able to raise forest land taxation, it is felt that Sooke will not proceed with amalgamation.  If the Province indicates that Sooke will be able to raise forest land taxation and Sooke pursues this option, it is felt that the forest companies will dump their lands. 

 

Official Community Plan

 

Initial lack of movement on the OCP was due to budgetary restrictions.  The budget for all Official Community Plans is $75,000.  CRD staff has commenced work on the Otter Point OCP.  All Official Community Plans are intended to be presented to the ministry by the end of the year.  It was advised that Willis Point is complete and that the Port Renfrew OCP requires one final public hearing.  This leaves the OCP for Shirley, Otter Point and the Malahat. 

 

Approving Officer

 

The Regional Director advised that he met with the Approving Officer.  The cost of providing an Approving Officer is expensive.  It was noted that this expense could be recovered by developers.  It was advised that this option is still in the investigation stages. 

 

The Regional Director closed by advising that he holds regular office hours on Mondays.

 

A member reported that comment was received stating that taxes in the Electoral Area in 2004 would be higher than taxes in the Sooke.  It was also reported that BC Assessment figures are higher as well.  In response, it was noted that the Electoral Area budget is at the provisional stage and that it does not take into consideration any surpluses from the previous year.  It was noted that there is a surplus of approximately $56,000 that still needs to be deducted from the budget.  It was also noted that, although the planning budget will be supported by development fees, this revenue can not be reflected in the budget.  This revenue can only be reflected as a surplus at year end.  The Regional Director reported that the budget is listed on the Juan de Fuca website and that more information would be provided at the meeting on Monday.     

 

b)      OPSRRA or OPRRA?

 

The President reported that when the association was originally formed some consideration was given to extending the membership to just Otter Point residents and ratepayers.  As Shirley did not have a political association, the membership was extended to Otter Point and Shirley residents and ratepayers.  It was noted that the Shirley Community Association is not a political organization.  Recently, a political organization called the Shirley Education and Action Society has formed in response to recent land developments. 

 

In consideration of this newly formed organization some comment has been received regarding Shirley members leaving OPSRRA.  To weigh this option, it has been suggested that Director Boyd and Director Stocks should lobby OPSRRA’s Shirley members for comment.

 

Although it is understood that OPSRRA will support SEAS on common issues and that OPSRRA would support the decision made by Shirley members, Director Morton expressed her opinion that, in consideration of ongoing pressures on the rural community at large, she would be disappointed if the Shirley members decide to leave.

 

MOVED BY DIRECTOR TWEEDY

SECONDED BY DIRECTOR MONEO THAT Virginia Boyd and Frances Stocks consult OPSRRA’s Shirley members regarding their thoughts regarding leaving OPSRRA and that Virginia Boyd and Frances Stocks report back at the next meeting.

 

Wayne Fritz suggested that, from past experience with rate payer association viability, action should not be made in haste.

 

At this time, Maureen Nelson, the president of the Shirley Action and Education Society, addressed the floor.

 

Maureen Nelson thanked the membership for their support and advised that she has been a resident of Shirley for twenty-years and that during this time there have been only a few land use issues.  However, it was reported that SEAS was formed in response to:

 

-         the pesticide application forwarded by Merrill and Ring,

-         the subdivision application for Sheringham Point

-         the Chew request to remove covenants

 

Although regular meetings are not being held, SEAS has been focusing energy on information gathering.  It was also advised that continued support from OPSRRA would be welcomed. 

 

Upon enquiry, Maureen Nelson advised that SEAS has sixty members.  It is understood that OPSRRA has thirty Shirley members.

 

If the Shirley members decide to leave, Heather Phillips asked if OPSRRA’s bylaw would have to change.  Director Tweedy advised that the constitution would require minimal change. 

 

Director Tweedy requested Maureen Nelson’s personal stance.  Maureen Nelson noted that the two communities currently share the same OCP.  Until the two communities have separate plans, it is felt that there is no rush.  In her opinion, she advised that she has no problem with OPSRRA continuing with its Shirley members. 

It was noted that both communities want to remain rural. 

 

The President advised that the motion only entails investigation.  

 

The question was called and it was                              1 OPPOSED,            CARRIED.

 

c)      Development Enquiry

 

Heather Phillips asked the membership if any member was aware of a development between Kemp Lake and Kemp Lake Road.  It is understood that a four lot application was submitted approximately two years ago.  The Regional Director advised that he is unaware of any new application.  It is also understood that the area in question has ten acre zoning which would permit a four on ten under strata title.

 

On a regular motion, the meeting adjourned at 9:45 p.m.