Happy Spring, Everyone! We hope you’re all starting to enjoy more outdoor activities as the warmer weather starts to arrive.

The first quarter of this new year has kept us busy and here are some of the issues we’ve been involved with …

Hwy 14 Safety and Access

We continue to work with various agencies including the RCMP detachment, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) and CRD Regional Director to address the many issues surrounding our neighbourhood highway and roads. To this end, we’ve invited both Ryan Evanoff (Operations Manager – Southern Vancouver Island at MOTI ) and Staff Sergeant Jeff McArthur (RCMP) as guest speakers to our AGM to discuss the Hwy review and policing, respectively, on Sunday, April 15, 2018. This will provide us with an opportunity to not only hear what progress has been made, but Ryan is also particularly interested in taking away any community priorities we may also have.

New Signage for Jordan River

We have also put in a request to MOTI for erecting new “Welcome to Jordan River” wooden signage, similar to what is currently set up for Otter Point and Shirley, and are still anticipating receiving funding from B.C. Hydro and/or CRD to get these made and erected.

Protecting Muir Creek

A growing movement is underway, led by our members, to support Chief Gordon Planes, T’Sou-ke First Nations and the desire of other area residents in securing the protection of the Muir Creek watershed from further logging. This includes the return of stewardship of this ecologically important, but small and vulnerable watershed to the T’Sou-ke people, located in their traditional territory.  Other residents have also identified protection of Muir Creek valley and its watershed as a community priority, which was also identified as “potential (open space) parkland” in Sooke’s “Official Settlement Plan” worthy of protection by the CRD as far back as 1988. A letter writing campaign to the CRD Board and individual CRD directors is being conducted asking the Regional Parks Committee to make protection of this resource from further logging and other impacts a high priority. If you would like to participate, please contact info@opsrra.ca.

Freedom Mobile Cell Tower – Invitation for Public Input

Freedom Mobile has submitted a new proposal to CRD for a 50 m cell tower at 2620 Kemp Lake Road immediately adjacent to an unconstructed road right-of-way, with Forestry (AF) zoned land located on the other side of the right-of-way to the north and west.  The parcel located to the south of this location is zoned Agriculture (AG) and is within the ALR.  The subject property itself is zoned Rural A. Comments can be submitted directly to Freedom Mobile using the form on the last page of the Invitation for Public Input document. Juan de Fuca planning will be bringing this proposal forward to the May 15, 2018, Land Use Committee meeting for a recommendation to the CRD Board. CRD will send also send the notice to neighbouring property owners and occupants located within 500 m of the subject property for public comment.

Shirley and Jordan River Official Community Plan (OCP)

It is welcome news that the Shirley/Jordan River OCP will soon be finalized.  The Citizens Committee and CRD staff worked very hard on the draft OCP and received significant public representation.  OPSRRA trusts that the OCP will retain the content and intent that was determined through the intensive and public process.

In the time that has passed since the OCP was drafted in 2016 issues evolved and as a result there may be some changes that will be required due to new or changed circumstances and events.  OPSRRA expects there will be an opportunity for residents to provide input on potential modifications to the OCP at Public Hearing.

New Directors Still Needed

We’re still looking for additional members to fill upcoming vacancies on our board of directors and continue important work we are doing to support our communities. These include things such as liaising with CRD and other external organizations, finances (or skills relating to the treasurer’s position), communications with our members, highway safety and improvements, illegal dumping, shooting safety, water security, community advocacy, sharing community information, and other important issues and projects identified by our members. If you are interested, please contact: president@opsrra.ca.

As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions, concerns, and/or you wish to volunteer your time and assistance in any way at info@opsrra.com.

Lastly, we look forward to seeing you all at the AGM – Sunday, April 15, 2018, 2PM at the JdF Services Building (3-7450 Butler Road, Otter Point, BC).