Happy Spring Everyone!

We hope you’re all doing well and enjoying some of the beautiful weather we’ve been experiencing lately. Hopefully things will be even better as many in our communities get vaccinated against COVID over the next few months. Registration by age group in BC for the general public commenced on April 6. Please visit BC’s How to get vaccinated for COVID-19 for more information. Please help us to continue keeping our communities safe by practicing social distancing and safe hygiene practices.

Spring AGM (Save the Date) 

Your board is preparing for OPSRRA’s spring AGM which will be Monday April 19 at 7:00 PM and it will be held on Zoom, so please email info@opsrra.ca for login credentials. In addition to board director elections, and updates from our CRD director, we’ll be talking about building a resilient and strong local food system. 

Still Looking for Additional Board Directors

As you’re probably aware, OPSRRA still has 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 president@opsrra.ca or vpresident@opsrra.ca for more information.

Update on “Welcome to Jordan River diitiida” Signs 

We have great news to announce. This April, thanks to the installation-donation assistance of Totangi Properties and Jordan River Gravel, you’ll finally see two new Welcome to Jordan River ditida signs on the outer edges of Jordan River, welcoming people to the area. 

It has been a long road to getting them installed, starting with initial funding from BC Hydro and the CRD, sign post donations from Queesto, help from some very talented young students from Camosun College, and guidance from Murray Tompkins who orchestrated the Otter Point and Shirley welcome signs for OPSRRA.  We are greatly looking forward to seeing this important project completed!

Otter Point Rd and Highway 14 Corridor Improvements – Update

Scansa Construction’s shoulder-widening, repaving, and line-painting work along Otter Point Road from the municipal boundary to Butler Road has been completed. Our understanding from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) is that they’re “looking at (further) improvements along Otter Point Rd. (possibly from Butler Road further west to Kemp Lake Road), but funding has not been formally committed”.

We’ve also received an update from MOTI on Hazelwood Construction’s improvement work along West Coast Road (Otter Point Road to Woodhaven Road)… 

The primary scope of this project is to resurface this 11km section of Hwy 14 to a consistent lane width of 3.3 m and to add a 1.2m paved shoulder on both sides. Removal of vegetation on the Ministry right of way is necessary to construct 1.2 m paved shoulders and to ensure a sufficient clear zone from obstacles (for) vehicle safety.  There will also be slope stabilization at selected locations, as designed by Geotechnical Engineers, in addition to hydro-seeding steep slopes above the road with plant species designed to hold the integrity of the soil intact. There will be specialized repairs to the existing deformities of road surface on approaches to Kirby and Muir Creeks areas as well.  Two slow moving vehicle pullouts will also be constructed, one in each direction, … this will provide opportunities for slower vehicles to pull over safely and let faster vehicles pass. Overall, after construction, this section of Hwy 14 will be significantly improved.

As this project ramps up in the next few months, MOTI has assured us that they will post current project status information on their website https://www.gov.bc.ca/highway14.

The work on the Connie Road to Glinz Lake Road 1.5 kilometre realignment project along Highway 14 by Windley Contracting Ltd. has also begun to ramp up visibly with grading and blasting to create the new right of way. This includes:

  • realigning this 1.5 km section and widening it to four lanes, 
  • a new park and ride at Gillespie Road, 
  • a pedestrian underpass east of the new intersection at Glinz Lake Road and Polymede Place, 
  • a median barrier between Manzer Road and the Neil Creek Bridge located east of Connie Road, and 
  • a new road connecting Gillespie Road with Manzer Road to the east and Connie Road to the west.

Specific details on the improvements can be found here and the project will necessitate periodic interruptions and delays for traffic flow through the area. Completion is expected at the end of summer 2022 along with the other improvements on West Coast Road.

Variance Applications and Land-use Change

There are a number of potential development projects, variances proposals, and large land sales we’re currently monitoring including:

  • application to the Shirley Jordan River Planning Advisory Committee to create a craft brewery in Jordan River (Jordan River Craft Brewing Company);
  • proposed strata development at 4090 Otter Point Road (three homes on three acres); 
  • zoning amendment application (RZ000271) at 9662 West Coast Rd in Shirley to upgrade a portable home-based sawmill operation to an industrial sawmill with accessory log and lumber storage; and
  • the Canadian Horizons Property up for sale at 3799 Otter Point, consisting of 558.86 acres and eight separate titles associated with trails in the area. 

We will endeavour to keep you informed as these projects evolve. Likewise, if you hear anything in the pipeline please let us know at info@opsrra.ca.

Low Airplane Flyover and Noise Issues

As many of you are aware, low flyovers in our communities from flight training schools have been an almost daily problem for a number of years. We’ve been in contact with CRD and have learned that the Federal Government is undertaking a revamp / modernization of the airspace around Vancouver and Victoria International airports. Representatives from the Juan de Fuca EA CRD office were invited to take part in the consultation, and expressed concerns regarding repetitive training and sightseeing flights over rural residential communities in our electoral area. Although the project seems to be on temporary hold due to COVID, CRD has informed us that it is discussing other approaches they can pursue as well.

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 in several ways—fill in the membership form, pay online, send an e-transfer to info@opsrra.ca, 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! 

Invasive Shiny Geranium in Otter Point

We received a communique from Jenny Eastman, our Regional Invasive Species Program Coordinator at CRD, that the invasive Shiny Geranium (Geranium lucidum) has been found in the Otter Point area, and is up now and preparing to flower and seed.  According to Jenny, it occurs in BC only in a few places in the capital region. Due to this limited distribution, but also the harm it can still cause to native ecosystems, the province has designated this plant as Early Detection Rapid Response and the goal is to eradicate it. The province has a program that offers support to landowners to control this plant and prevent spread. If you spot this plant, then please report it using the provincial Report a Weed app (free and easy to use) or by contacting her (jeastman@crd.bc.ca or 250.360.3302) with the following information:

  • location details
  • size of patch
  • a photo (if possible).

Please keep an eye out for this plant and report it, if found.

Shiny geranium

Have a wonderful spring!

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