Newsletter for November 2018
SCRD Director Andreas Tize
Hello everyone and welcome to my inaugural newsletter. Thank you for being an active part of our community and expressing interest in what is going on at the SCRD. You are receiving this newsletter because you are either on my mailing list, the OCPC Committee, the APC Committee, or a Director at the SCRD. If you don’t wish to be on the list, please let me know.
My experience so far
We got sworn in on November 8thand I’m very pleased with the group of people I’ve been given to work with. They are a very diverse group of passionate individuals and it is great that almost everyone is new to this position. It’s been a very supportive environment and the veterans are very patient with us newcomers. I’ve already made my share of small blunders and the staff and my fellow directors have been great as I make my way into this system. Especially the procedural aspects of the job are something very foreign to me. I got to chair my first meeting this past Friday, and I’m looking forward to gaining more experience in this field. I’m also looking forward to getting to know everyone better and I truly believe that we will achieve a very constructive working environment. We will have our disagreements, but I think the mutual respect is there and we will value every contribution to the conversation.
The new SCRD board, L-R: Mark Hiltz, Keith Julius, Leonard Lee, Donna McMahon,
Andreas Tize, Lori Pratt, Darnelda Siegers, Tom Lamb, Bill Beamish
The month of November
November has been a bit of a whirlwind. Apart from the two board meetings we have had a number of introductory workshops and Standing Committee meetings. We also had the first Advisory Planning Commission (APC) meeting during my tenure, and the last Official Community Plan Committee (OCPC) before the elections, which happened November 28th.
I am very pleased to report that the OCPC now has a full roster of 11 members, and we have a great representation of all ages and walks of life. Thank you to everyone that stepped up, and your dedication to this community is truly appreciated. A big thank you also to our outgoing Chair, John Gibbs, who performed the job with professionalism and poise. The OCPC is an arm’s length organization to the SCRD, and therefore the OCPC Chair has a considerable amount of work to do. The Chair is responsible for assembling the Agenda for every meeting, disseminating the material, and conducting the meeting in an orderly manner. Our OCPC is the only standing OCP Committee in the Province, and it is a huge help to me, and the rest of the SCRD board, as a place to go to hear the will of the community of Roberts Creek as a whole. We will be selecting our new Chair at the first board meeting of next year, January 8th, 7pm at Roberts Creek Elementary School. All OCPC meetings are open to the public.
The OCPC elections were held at the hall after the regular Roberts Creek Community Association meeting for November.
Short-term rental housing
Both the APC and OCPC discussed the new proposed Short-term rental bylaw amendmentsat length in their meetings in November. Some great feedback was given regarding the difficulty enforcing the new proposed regulations and how it is unclear what kind of requirements need to be met to receive a temporary use permit to operate a short-term rental housing facility without a manager on the premises. Planning Staff from the SCRD were on hand to answer questions and receive feedback, and they definitely got their share of it. Thank you to the dedicated staff members who took the time to come out on a weekday night to engage with the community. We are anticipating a final product that will be considerably different from what is proposed now, so stay tuned. Ultimately the goal of the regulations is to avoid noise, parking and waste disposal issues, while at the same time reducing the amount of transience in the community. We also hope to return some housing to the long-term rental housing market.
Up until now, Largo Rd has been a small road, divided into two parts that were either accessed from the highway, or from Lower Rd. Recently a development team purchased the 18.5 acre property dividing Largo Rd and is planning on sub-dividing the property using the current zoning in place. They plan on putting in 13 lots of approximately 1 acre parcels. They will also be completing Largo Rd, making it the fourth through-road between Lower Rd and Highway 101. Residents are understandably worried that it will become a thoroughfare for traffic between the Heart of the Creek and the traffic coming and going from Gibsons. A discourse with the Ministry of Transportation is underway to come up with a solution that will work for everyone.
The developers are also very cooperative in discussions to keep the 3.5 acre chunk of land west of Roberts Creek available for public use. That piece will then be accessed via the public park behind Co-housing. SCRD staff and the developers are actively looking for options.
Voice on the Coast Relaunch
I was fortunate to attend the relaunch of Voice on the Coast, now spearheaded by SCREDO, the Sunshine Coast Regional Economic Development Organization. Voice on the Coast is an initiative to attract and retain young adults (19-39) on the Coast. There is a large demographic gap in that age range, and it is problematic for many businesses to find employees that generally fit in that age range. We discussed issues as to why young adults have difficulty staying on the Coast (Lack of housing, education, transit, etc.) and tried to come up with solutions to fix the problems. SCREDO is also going to be offering a shark-tank like competition to hear and fund new business ideas for young entrepreneurs. For more information on Voice on the Coast here is a link to their Facebook Page.
District Lot 1312
District Lot 1313 in Elphinstone is currently in the news as concerned citizens are mounting some resistance to counter the plans to log the popular area. Right beside it, to the west, is District Lot 1312. The owners of the lot are applying for a rezoning and subdivision of the Lot, which would result in 12 new lots, and the rest of the property being turned over to the SCRD. Comments from the APC and OCPC will be received during the next meetings on December 20thand January 8th, respectively.
Amendment of the Zoning Bylaw 310
Our original Zoning Bylaw was created in 1989 and has been amended 170 times since then. It is time to review the bylaw and rewrite it essentially from scratch. Zoning is the most powerful tool the SCRD has to create land use planning according to the direction expressed in the Official Community Plan. It is one of the few tools to encourage the creation of more affordable housing and can direct developers to create desired housing types in certain zones.
Part of the review and rewrite of the Zoning Bylaw is a discourse with the public. There are two workshopscoming up:
December 5, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Seaside Centre, 5790 Teredo Street, Sechelt, B.C.
December 6, 2018 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Gibsons and Area Community Centre, Room 209, 700 Park Road, Gibsons, B.C.
Iplan on going to the one in Sechelt. Hope to see you there.
The advisory planning commission (APC) is a mandated advisory body that collects community feedback on land use, planning and policy decisions. If, for example, you want to rezone your land, or subdivide it, you will make an application with the SCRD, and the SCRD will then refer your application to the APC. We are currently recruiting for new members. In order to apply, you submit your application to Angie Legault, Corporate Officer of the SCRD. Applications will then be disseminated to the respective Local Area Directors. The SCRD Board appoints APC members to a two-year term, generally following the recommendations of the Local Area Director. If you are interested in serving on the APC, I would love to get to know you better, so please contact me.
More information on the APC can be found here.
If I don’t see you before, happy holidays to you all! It is always a hard time for me to balance my values, like reducing my consumption and waste creation, with the craziness that comes with Christmas. Having a 7-year old doesn’t help. I try to give gifts like board games, books and this year, a new sled – things that will have lasting value. For the rest of my family, a few years ago we made a pact to all donate money instead of giving each other stuff for Christmas. I will be donating money to the Aga Khan Foundation, in order to start working towards the real elephant in the room, the global overpopulation crisis.
The next newsletter will be coming at the beginning of January.