Happy Holidays Everyone!
Hope you were all able to enjoy the little bit of “solstice snow” we experienced at the beginning of the holidays which still left some of us with a bit of white for the holidays.
Despite the second wave of COVID we’ve been experiencing, good news is on the way with regard to COVID-19 vaccines being approved by Health Canada and now being administered to our most vulnerable community members, with more to follow in the New Year. As our health authority notes, we still need to keep up the practice of social distancing – including sticking to your own bubbles, wearing masks, and aggressive handwashing practices as part of daily routines to keep healthy, safe, and “flatten the curve” once again.
The winter holidays can be difficult for some, but even more so for those who have been living on their own and feeling particularly isolated by the epidemic. Once again, please continue to reach out to your family, friends and more (particularly) vulnerable community members with caring and support, albeit at distance, and local businesses, as well as food banks, that serve our communities.
Still Looking for Additional Board Directors
As you’re probably aware, OPSRRA still has two openings for board directors. Having these filled would help us considerably in moving forward on some of the initiatives we would like to accomplish for our community, including engagement on revisiting the OCPs for our communities.
If you’re interested in joining our fun, lively and collaborative board and helping to make a difference in your community please contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Update on “Welcome to Jordan River diitiida” Signs
Once we get through the holidays, we’ll be continuing our efforts raising funds to cover the installation of the signs. Recognizing that welcome signs are a part of that community pride we’re hoping we can make up our $3600 shortfall through donations from our communities and appreciate any donation – $10 – $25 – $50 or more – that you can make in order to assist us in getting Jordan River’s welcome front and centre on West Coast Road. If you’re able to help us with costs through donations or in-kind contributions, please go to our donation page.
Otter Point Rd and Highway 14 – Corridor Improvements
Scansa Construction’s shoulder-widening work along Otter Point Road is humming along and we’re hoping these upgrades will be completed by late summer 2021. This has also involved some drainage (re-) work, including placing retaining walls along the steep bank zones and demarcation lines for the new lanes and shoulder areas.
Shoulder-widening by Hazelwood Construction Services is also proceeding along West Coast Road between Otter Point Rd. and Woodhaven Rd. in Shirley. There has been some concern about tree removal and its impact on privacy and drainage in some areas, as well as the lack of information. In order to improve a portion of Hwy 14 that had the dubious honour of being the province’s narrowest highway, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) exercised their possession of the right of way (a set-back of 3m). Unfortunately this has impacted some folks along the highway as trees in that setback have been removed to widen out the road, removing barriers that had shielded them from the highway. Concerns about that and slope stabilization have been raised by community members with OPSRRA. If the work along Otter Point Rd. is any indication, steep slopes will be stabilized by retaining wall blocks, and green hydro-seeding along lesser inclines. More background information will also be obtained and an OPSRRA letter to be sent on behalf of the area to MOTI.
Windley Contracting has also begun work with the $86-million realignment of the Connie Road to Glinz Lake Roads section of Sooke Road. The project will result in a 1.5-kilometre stretch of Highway 14 converted to a divided four-lane highway, the road rerouted behind the 17 Mile House Pub and merge back to Highway 14 at Glinz Lake Road, a “park and ride” lot at Gillespie Road and ten kilometres of pavement resurfacing and shoulder widening between Otter Point and Woodhaven Roads. Completion is expected by September 2022.
Not surprising, traffic delays are expected on all of these projects, but plans are in place to reduce traffic impacts to emergency services, local property owners, commuters and transit as applicable. If you have any concerns or questions about any of these projects, please let us know.
Membership Renewal Process
A reminder that, as we continue our transition from lifetime to five-year renewable memberships, to renew your membership (if you haven’t already). It’s only $10.00 per person for five years and $10.00 per year for a business. You can do this several ways – by filling in the membership form, pay online, send an e-transfer to email@example.com, or even mail a cheque to the address below:
c/o 9193 West Coast Road
Shirley BC V9Z 1G3
Your board has also been exploring ways of increasing engagement with residents using FaceBook and Twitter including a photo contest, as well as developing a poster for local notice boards promoting new members and supporting local businesses. Your OPSRRA president will also be conducting phone calls for renewals in the new year. Thank you, again, to everyone who has already renewed!
Spring AGM (Save the Date)
Your board discussed timing for OPSRRA’s spring AGM at their last meeting on December 1st. To get us back into our regular membership meeting schedule, we’ve landed on Monday April 19 at 7:00 PM to be held on Zoom, so please save the date on your calendar. We’re looking at a couple of possible topics including food security and OCPs, and will discuss this more at the next board retreat on January 18. If you have any ideas or topics you might like us to explore, please let us know.
Expanding Business Directory to Sooke (External) Businesses
Your board has approved the expansion of the business directory to Sooke and region businesses at it’s December 1st meeting. It was decided to include these businesses, as long as they operate and provide services in the OPSRRA core area. Businesses will not require a personal membership – associate or otherwise.
Official Community Plan (OCP) for Otter Point
As discussed as a project at its fall retreat, your OPSRRA board is beginning the process of re-examining Otter Point’s (OCP) which was originally ratified in 2014 following a number of years in the planning stages. OPSRRA has requested information from CRD on the volume of variances that have been made since the OCP’s inception. This is to get a starting sense of how closely the plan has been followed and what may need to be changed or improved upon. Water and watershed protection is another project that was discussed, for possible inclusion in a revised OCP, and your board will also be exploring a plan and grant for an August 2021 timeline.
Have a wonderful holiday season everyone and Happy Year!