BLENKINSOP VALLEY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION
PO Box 30063, 3989 Quadra St., Victoria BC, V8X 5E1
250-477-8539

 

May, 2009  Newsletter

Dear BVCA members

The BVCA directors met on May 20, 2009. We hope you find the following items of interest:

Temporary Commercial Permit

Saanich has requested input from the BVCA regarding an application from a landscaping company for a Temporary Commercial Permit to continue its operation at its present location while it searches for a new location. Landscaping is not a permitted use under the present A-1 zoning for this property. The company originally leased the land from a previous owner and did not realize the land was not zoned for this use. The company has been at this location since 2003. The application, if accepted, would be in effect for 2 years with an option to apply for renewal at that time.

The BVCA distributed notices 10 nearby properties but received communication from just one neighbour who was concerned about the speed at which the company's trucks travel along a residential street.

The BVCA directors decided to give support to the application but did request that we be contacted after 2 years prior to issuing a renewal of the application. The BVCA also met and spoke with a representative of the company about the application and about the neighbour's concern.

Lochside subdivision

We have received a notice from Saanich about an application for a six home subdivision which would require rezoning from the present A-1 zoning at 4590 Lochside. This property is across the street from Lochside Elementary School. The developer has initiated zoning change applications on three previous occasions and the BVCA has previously opposed this development. In the past, the BVCA has met with the developer and with neighbours. In our discussions the following concerns were raised:

- the impact of this development on the Lochside trail
- the loss of a buffer between ALR land and residential properties in Broadmead
- increased traffic
- the possible loss of a welcoming rural entrance to the Blenkinsop Valley for users of the Lochside Trail

The majority of BVCA directors continue to oppose this development and further communication will be forwarded to the municipality about this.

Resignation

Margaret Marriott has resigned as a BVCA director because of a heavy schedule. Margaret was elected as secretary at the last AGM.

Churchill Dr. Parking

The parking expansion at the base of Churchill drive (the road to the Mt. Doug summit) was discussed. The BVCA was represented at a meeting on this issue which was also attended by representatives of the Friends of Mt Doug, Saanich Planning and the Gordon Head Residents' Association. A number of dead trees are to be removed for safety reasons and a small number of new parking spaces are to be created.

SCAN (Saanich Community Association Network)

Mayor Leonard was the guest at the last SCAN meeting. Along with other topics, he was also asked questions about the regional plans for sewage treatment. He was questioned whether the treatment plans were scientifically shown to be beneficial to the environment. He indicated that the purpose for doing this project was for community values; there was no evidence that it would be beneficial to the environment. At the present, there is an area approximately the size of a football field on the ocean floor which is showing changes from the discharge of sewage. He also pointed out that local government has no choice but to comply as the project has been mandated by the provincial government.

The expected annual costs to households will depend on whether a basic system is chosen or whether additional features such as heat extraction are built into the system. It may be that sewer tax rates are determined by household water usage. This would apply only to those homes which are included in the sewer enterprise boundary.

Discussion from some SCAN members pointed out that water-soluble chemicals such as pharmaceuticals will not be extracted by the new system but will continue to be discharged into the ocean.

Vegetation  Pruning on Blenkinsop

One of our directors expressed concern about vegetation growth along Blenkinsop Rd. which will interfere with farm vehicles. A list of sites where this is evident will be compiled and Saanich Parks will be approached with a request to trim these. Saanich has responded to previous BVCA requests for this service.

Proposal for Park Acquisition

An owner of a Blenkinsop Road property presented to the BVCA a proposal which his family is taking to Saanich to sell part of their property for expansion of Mt Doug Park. Saanich has indicated an interest in obtaining at least part of the property. The owners have also had problems related to park users trespassing on their property.

The BVCA directors felt that obtaining this property for the park is desirable and a letter of support has been forwarded to the municipality. The BVCA also supported the owners in their desire to have Saanich provide signage to mark the park boundary.

One of the owners of this property is also a BVCA director but, in accordance with our conflict-of-interest protocol, was not present when the directors decided to support this proposal.

With thanks

The BVCA directors

 

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