April 2022 Newsletter
Hello everyone, the end of the month comes at a good time to address a contentious issue. Let’s dive in.
1220 Lockyer Rd
In March the board decided in a 3-2 vote to move the Temporary Use Permit Application for 1220 Lockyer Rd to a public hearing and a 3rd reading. Since then some new information has surfaced and the board is reconsidering this move, with a deferral of the decision to the next board meeting so that the board and the public have a chance to understand why two of the directors changed their minds. Board Chair Darnelda Siegers addressed some of the commentary in the community right now in this youtube recording, starting at 19:40. As a reminder, the report from March be found here on p.1-20.
I want to say that this case has been difficult to handle on all sides. When this case came to staff’s attention in October 2020 it was due to several bylaw violation complaints. Because staff have a policy to try for voluntary compliance first, as that generally produces the best results, and because the tenants would have been without a home on Christmas, staff, at board direction, started engaging with the property owner to come to a mutually beneficial resolution.
Unfortunately, in the intervening time period of over 18 months the property owner has, despite staff’s best attempts to work with him, done very little to actually come into compliance with the bylaws in place to protect the health and safety of both the tenants and neighbours in the area. In the meantime, further bylaw violations have surfaced, and some of the claims by the applicant that have been proven to the contrary created a situation where both staff and I no longer have much faith in the applicant meeting the numerous requirements to come into compliance as set out by a potential TUP.
It is my impression that the applicant has been stalling for as long as possible, in the meantime collecting rent, while having little or no intention to actually come into compliance. My decision to turn down this TUP application comes from a lack of trust in the applicant, and the multiple bylaw violations on this property, that in turn create a concern about the health and safety of everyone on and around the property. Both the community, staff, and the board have been more than patient with this situation, and unfortunately as time went on the situation did not improve, in fact it got worse.
My heart goes out to the tenants who have been unwittingly thrown into this debacle and may face eviction as a result of the actions of their landlord. I would like to reiterate that I have been, and still am, a strong advocate of greater housing diversity on the Coast and of affordable housing options. There is a right way to do this, as evidenced by the recent application for expansion of the Langdale RV Park, and there is the way this was done.
Church Rd well
As some of you may have noticed, construction on the Church Rd well field is full steam ahead. Most affected right now is Reed Rd, where the new water main is being placed to supply Area E and D with well water in future summers. For weekly updates please visit our Let’s Talk SCRD page for Church Road.
The election in October
We have an election coming up and I have decided to not run again. I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience, am incredibly grateful to staff, community and the board for creating an overwhelmingly supportive environment and I will dearly miss many aspects of the job. I have learned so much in the last 4 years, and I do hope that I may have the chance to represent this fine community again in the future. It has been a challenging time, where the board has had to stick handle droughts, pandemics, heat waves, ferry fiascos, all while trying to make up for lost time in water and refuse planning and trying to set the community up for success in the future. I would like to particularly thank the members of the board, as they have been incredibly supportive and it’s been a pleasure to work with all of them.
My primary reason to not run again is that my daughter is now 11, and I believe these are the most important years coming up to establish a lasting relationship with her. I now also own a business that will keep me busy in the summers, and I hope to do some traveling with my family in the winter time. I hope that someone with an open mind and a deep love of this community can step forward so that I can endorse them. If someone would like to speak with me about the job, what it entails and whether this is something they would like to do, I am always available.
Donna McMahon’s newsletter
For once it looks like I’m beating her to the punch, so I can’t link to her most recent newsletter. Her website in general is full of great stuff, so I’ll link to that.