Happy New Year, everyone!
We hope you’ve all had a restful holiday season and been able to keep relatively dry during the torrential downpours we’ve experienced these past couple of weeks (and are holding tight for the forecasted white stuff). Although we’re blessed in living at the southern end of a temperate rainforest on the Island, it does make us truly appreciate those bright days when the sun actually does pop its head out. Here’s what we’ve been up to since our September report…
All Candidates Meeting (September 29/19)
We had a very successful meeting with six candidates in attendance at the Juan de Fuca Services building in Otter Point, including Randall Garrison (NDP), Randall Pewarchuk (PC), David Merner (Green Party), Jeremy Gustafson (PPC), Jamie Hammond (Liberal) and a last minute arrival by Phillip Ney (independent) to take questions from a packed audience of 80.
In addition to the three selected questions related to the climate crisis, infrastructure spending (internet and water), and chinook salmon stocks, candidates also answered a myriad of questions including protecting salmon in general, proportional representation, and electric vehicle charging-station infrastructure. We were also pleased to have Mary Brooke from West Shore Voice News providing full press coverage of the event. We want to sincerely thank the candidates and everyone from the public who attended, as well as our organizing committee for a job well done!
Update on “Welcome to Jordan River diitiida” Signs
We are still in the process of putting finishing touches on the “Welcome” signs (specifically the wave motifs and aluminum flashing supports) with Camosun and identifying additional sources of funding and/or support to get the signs installed this coming spring.
To this end, we are sending around some letters to our local businesses to see if any of them would be able to help with fundraising for the installation, as well as contacting the new road maintenance contractors for our region, Emcon Services, to see if they are able to assist, along with CRD. If you’re able to help us with costs through donations or other ways, please click on this link to our donation page.
Otter Point Rd. Shoulder Widening Project
We contacted the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) to see where things are with shoulder widening and upgrades along the southern end of Otter Point Rd. The Ministry is still finalizing designs and working with impacted utilities to initiate relocations and it reports that there are considerable BC Hydro relocations needed to facilitate the road works. This has resulted in some scheduled slippage to the originally proposed tender date.
The project is anticipated to be tendered prior to April 2020 and the Ministry is still targeting completion summer of 2020.
Highway 14 Corridor Improvements
As some of you may be aware, the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure (MOTI) held an open house at Edward Milne High School on December 3 (2019) to provide an update to the public on the Highway 14 upgrades that were announced in April 2019 ($85.7 million) as well as soliciting public feedback on design.
This includes four laning and realignment from Connie to Glinz Lake Road and resurfacing and shoulder widening of the highway between Otter Point Road to Woodhaven Road. Some projects have also been completed, including (three) new bus pullouts, safety signs, line painting, slow vehicle pullouts, repairs/improvements to bridges and intersections. Approximately 150 people were in attendance at the public consultation meeting and short report by OPSRRA can be reviewed here. if you were unable to attend, you can also view the open house presentation materials here as well as providing your feedback by January 15, 2020 by filling out and submitting a feedback form.
We are very pleased to see all of the work beginning to improve our roadways. Beginning in 2017 OPSRRA, identified highway safety as a key issue for our region. Letters were sent to our MLA, and now Premier John Horgan and MOTI. Our executive did a road tour of the region with MOTI and they were invited to make a presentation to the community at our 2018 AGM. These are good first steps in creating safer highways for both residents and visitors alike.
Bylaw 2040 (Vacation Rentals)
OPSRRA was copied on yet another letter of complaint in September by one of our members to CRD regarding a land-use bylaw (2040) violation along West Coast Road. The member has complained previously to the CRD over the past two years about concerns around a series of short-term or vacation rentals on the neighbouring property that have been sources of conflict for them.
This includes a lack of safety (unattended children, potential fire hazards, unsecured garbage), disruptive and possibly illegal acts (excessive narcotics and alcohol usage, clandestine visitors throughout the night) and confrontations when doing yard work.
This continues to be of concern to this member and their family and reinforces, again, the need for CRD to revisit this by-law with updated language and guidelines that properly protects property owners (and their short-term rentals), as well as their affected neighbours. As noted previously, if you have any concerns or complaints about neighbouring renters, please don’t be afraid to contact the local CRD (250-642-8100 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org). In the case of emergency or safety issues, please contact the Sooke RCMP (250-642-5241). We would also appreciate it if you could copy us on any correspondence/communication at email@example.com.
Membership Renewal Process – Reminder
Our membership committee is continuing to roll out this process, which started this fall, by sending out notices to those members who joined more than five years ago. You can renew your membership several ways, and it’s only $10.00 per person for five years and $10.00 per year for a business. You can fill in the form and pay online on our website, send an e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mail a cheque to this address: OPSRRA c/o 9193 West Coast Road, Shirley BC V9Z 1G3.
New Board Members
In anticipation of our up-coming spring AGM on April 5, 2020, and in recognition of vacant positions currently on your board (e.g., Secretary and Membership Director), we will be actively soliciting new and interested members to fill board positions by email and follow-up phone calls. If you’re interested in making a difference in your community and finding out more about director positions, please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Have a safe and happy winter, everyone, keep dry, and we’ll see you at the AGM this coming April 5 at 2pm! More information on our exciting guest speakers to come.