PO Box 30063, 3989 Quadra St., Victoria BC, V8X 5E1


Newsletter November 2007

Dear BVCA members

After the last directors' meeting, the BVCA requested that the Saanich Engineering Dept. consider the installation of crosswalks on Blenkinsop Rd. at Pearce Cres. and at Miramar Dr. We received an informative and detailed response as to why this was thought to be inadvisable. Saanich recommends that a minimum of 15 pedestrian crossings per hour occur before considering a new crosswalk. It was pointed out that for motorists, a crosswalk serves as an alert to a location where "they should expect significant and frequent pedestrian activity". Likewise, for pedestrians, a crosswalk "defines a location where, on the basis of a traffic engineering safety assessment, it is recommended to be a safe and advisable location to cross a street". It was pointed out that the frequent speeding on Blenkinsop Rd, despite on-going police enforcement, and the limited visibility at Miramar make the proposed locations undesirable for crosswalks. One of the reasons that Saanich Engineering is selective about installing new crosswalks is that "a major portion of pedestrian injury and fatality accidents occur in marked crosswalks".

The three community associations collaborating over their mutual concern about the Beckwith U-Farm proposal met with a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture. There does not appear to have been any recent work on the proposal and the situation is being monitored.

The BVCA received a report about the new farm tax assessments which are reducing the ability for properties to be assessed as farms. Apparently, many of the new assessments are expected to be changed if appealed.

BVCA directors have decided to send a letter to Saanich encouraging greater limitation for fill deposit on property zoned for agricultural use (A1 and A2). The Fill Deposit By-law is being reviewed and the BVCA would like to encourage protection of agriculture land so as to avoid it being covered with fill. Currently, land within the ALR or on a flood plain does have protection.


The directors have organized BVCA priorities into a One Year Plan. Under this plan it is hoped that in the next 12 months the following proposals can be completed:

- the BVCA Agriculture Committee complete its membership and become active by mid January.
- a Newsletter Committee be created to produce 2 to 4 newsletters annually to be distributed to all residents of the Blenkinsop Valley
- Explore the possibility of organizing an Emergency Preparedness Programme for our area
- contribute to the improvement of Outerbridge Park so it is useable by the public.
- monitor projects which have already been initiated such as traffic, fill deposit, and invasive species.
- create a BVCA web site
- promote biological diversity around farm land - e.g. education re native species, attracting pollinators etc
- develop a phone tree to help people in the event of major natural events.

Please let us know if you would like to help with any of the above proposals.

Although the phone tree has not been started, the BVCA may be able to help in the event of major storms this winter. By consulting our membership list, the BVCA may be able to put people who require support for obtaining necessary supplies or services in contact with others who are nearby.

The Royal Oak Community Association has encouraged us to send a letter to Saanich Council voicing concern about the proposal to alter the Urban Containment Boundary in the area of the Bear Mountain development. The directors decided to support this request.

A year ago, on November 23, 2006 the concept of creating the BVCA was started. On that date the founding 8 members (Darlene McCue, Nathalie Chambers, Roy and Mary Bennett, Suzie and Ed Polinsky and Dawn and Barry Loucks) met in one of their living rooms to discuss whether there was enough interest to start a new community association. At that meeting, some of the concerns discussed included traffic on Blenkinsop Rd., development presures, and the competition which local farmers are facing from inexpensive imports (at that time there had been a large shipment of off-shore carrots flooding the local market so that local carrots could not be sold).

The BVCA directors welcome you comments.

With thanks,

BVCA directors


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