March 9, 2007


The meeting took place at Cordova Bay Elementary School at 7:30 p.m.

Residents of the community were encouraged to sign in as they arrived and membership in the BVCA was offered.

Barry Loucks chaired the meeting and gave introductory remarks.

1. The Executive and Directors were introduced. Barry thanked Seven Oaks for their interest and their willingness to provide a room for the Directors' meetings.

2. Seven Oaks
- Cheryl Moir thanked the BVCA for the opportunity to speak. She mentioned that Seven Oaks wants to be part of the community and wishes to have open communication. Neighbours were encouraged to phone if they have any concerns. She explained that the residents at Seven Oaks are not violent but tend not to have the best manners.

3. Directors Report
- Darlene McCue reported that the boundaries used are part of the original Blenkinsop Valley Area Plan (The Corporation of the District of Saanich) and then read the vision statement for the Plan:

"A Rural Space in an Urban Place"

"The Blenkinsop Valley is a cherished rural and natural community in the Municipality of Saanich.

The residents' commitment to the Valley is evident in their continued use of the land for farming and for other rural activities, and in their desire to preserve the remaining natural environment.

The Municipality of Saanich actively supports the rural nature of the Valley. Saanich works in partnership with other jurisdictions and authorities to ensure that residents of Greater Victoria and visitors to the Region enjoy the benefits of a rural space in an urban place.

Visitors, and those who pass through, understand the unique character of the Valley. They accept their responsibility to behave in a manner that shows respect for farm activities, livestock, and the wild plants and animals that share the Valley's fields, trails, and roadways."

-  Darlene reviewed the process toward incorporating the BVCA and read the purpose statement for the Blenkinsop Valley Community Association:

"The purpose of the Association is to provide input on all community matters in the Blenkinsop Valley including but not limited to agriculture, other land uses, transportation, environmental issues, safety, heritage and culture."

- Darlene referred to the BVCA’s definition of membership:

 "All members must reside or own property within the Blenkinsop Valley or within 500 meters of its border as defined by the Blenkinsop Valley Local Area Plan. Others may become  members but without voting privileges".

Darlene also reported on the association’s “immediate actions”:
- At the first, informal meeting in November, the development proposal for 4560 Lochside was mentioned; by the time the directors met again in January to plan for the AGM, the proposal had advanced and action by the BVCA was considered to be desirable.
- Policy Statements were developed in light of the development proposal:
- The BVCA is strongly supportive of agriculture.
- The BVCA respects the Lochside Trail and will “protect trail values”.
In February, a letter was forwarded from the BVCA to Council stating these policies and strongly objecting to the proposal for rezoning/subdivision of 4590 Lochside.Darlene reiterated that the BVCA supports a buffer zone for the valley and protection of agricultural land with the view that there will be increased demand to produce food locally. The association values the Lochside trail and wishes to encourage its protection.

There was one question regarding the Directors report, about membership. In response, Darlene explained that “neighbours” of the valley are regarded as important allies and therefore are included as members of the Association.

4. Treasurers Report
- Roy Bennett read the report:
Balance Sheet as of February 28, 2007:
Assets: No assets.                                                        
Liability: Accounts payable: $397.60.

5. Budget for 2007
- Roy Bennett read the proposed Budget. Darlene McCue made a motion to accept the budget as read. Members voted in favour. Passed.

6. Election of Officers
- Barry Loucks chaired the election. Positions filled by acclamation:
Nathalie Chambers - vice-president, Ken Babcock - secretary,  Dawn Loucks - treasurer.
- Nathalie Chambers chaired the election of: Barry Loucks - president, by acclamation.

7. Election of Directors
- Barry Loucks reported that Darlene McCue, Ed and Suzie Polinsky have agreed to continue as Directors.
Nominated were: Mark Eraut, David Charlebois, Dale Leeuw, Annette Barclay, and Linda Cirella.
All of those nominated were elected by acclamation.

8. Nathalie Chambers - "The History of the Blenkinsop Valley - Part 1"
- Nathalie had a display board with many pictures of early days in the Blenkinsop Valley.
- Nathalie reported that life in the Blenkinsop Valley in the 1890's was idyllic. The area was formerly known as "Lost Lake". Nathalie gave a geographic history of Mount Douglas and the area and spoke of the activities of the First Nations people in early times and during the European settlement of Vancouver Island. Sir James Douglas and the Hudson's Bay Company had a significant part in the settlement of the area by middle-class land owners. Many names of early settlers  were  mentioned including James Todd (son of John), George Blenkinsop, Adam Glendenning, Borden, Simmons, Magee, Mercer (granddaughter, Phyllis, still lives in the valley), and Lawrence Chambers. 

9. Other Business
- Barry Loucks opened the meeting to comments from the floor.
- Mr. Jadresko spoke of his concerns regarding land values and taxation on ARL properties compared to  Gordon Head and Broadmead. He reported that he had had no notification of this meeting. Roy Bennett reported that he had delivered a notice to Mr. Jadresko's mailbox.

- Several comments of support and encouragement were heard.
- Clarification of membership area was made.
- Questions were asked regarding future communications. A website and a BVCA Email address were discussed.
- Issues of concern for residents were raised including traffic, land use and deer. A stronger police presence was encouraged to deal with excessive speed and careless driving on Blenkinsop Road.
- Ray Galey spoke of his concerns as a farmer in the Valley. He felt efforts needed to be made to help farmers survive. Vancouver Island currently produces only about 10% of its own food supply. Protection of the ARL and land banking will help to save land for farming. Support from the municipal level in the form of free water for agricultural use would help greatly. Geese are a major problem on farm fields.
- The 67 acre tree farm has new owners. Homes nearby have concerns.
- David Chambers, of Madrona Farm, reported that he is working with students from the UVic Sustainable Farming Department. He and Nathalie have appreciated the support from the community. They are working on a deal with the Land Conservancy to buy the farm to protect the farm long-term. The organic produce sold at the road stand is working well, better than supplying the wholesale market.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.