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

 

October 2007

 

Dear BVCA members

The directors met on October 17, 2007. An update about a fill deposit issue near Pearce Crescent was received. The BVCA, at the request of residents, facilitated a meeting between the involved parties about a month ago. The fill is being deposited under a permit from Saanich. The involved parties have a better understanding of what is involved with the permit process, each group's concerns and when the project is expected to be completed. There remains some uncertainty about the ultimate use of the filled area.
The terms of reference for the BVCA Agriculture Committee were passed. In that document it is stated that:

This Committee is created to:
1.   Inform the BVCA about challenges and opportunities for ecologically-sensitive production of healthy foods in the Blenkinsop Valley, as well as for other agricultural pursuits.
2.   Advise the Association about action that could be taken to maintain and restore the quality of soil in the Valley to support  food production.
3.   Encourage sustainable food production and other agriculture in the Valley.
4.   Deal with other agriculture-related issues as requested by the BVCA Directors.

The BVCA directors have expressed strong support for agriculture in the valley and they hope that this committee will be able to assist local farmers and promote agriculture within the Blenkinsop Valley. It is planned that the committee will have 5 members with particular support for the presence of farmers. A UVic professor with a strong interest and expertise in sustainable food production has agreed to be a resource person for this committee.

The directors continue to review priorities for the association but other issues which arise have limited the time we have been able to devote to this subject. Development of an Emergency Preparedness program was one suggestion and traffic safety was reviewed. A suggestion was brought to the meeting that each resident in the valley not exceed the speed limit when travelling on Blenkinsop and thus the residents would have a form of self-enforcement of traffic speed. It was decided to ask for the use of the meter board again and to inquire about the possibility of installing crosswalks at Pearce Cres. and at Miramar.

The BVCA has been asked by a representative for Mrs. Outerbridge if it would like to collaborate in providing direction on the manner in which Outerbridge Park (formerly Shangri-La) is to develop and if the BVCA would be interested in arranging volunteer groups to help restore the park to a point where the public could use it. The directors would like to collaborate on this project and offered to poll the BVCA members to see how many would be willing to join a volunteer group. We also offered to collaborate with other nearby community associations to see if their members would be interested in volunteering. Negotiations with Saanich are underway with Mrs. Outerbridge's representative so the above initiatives are not yet ready to proceed.
An update was provided about the Beckwith U-Farm. A group of residents has been organizing meetings and inviting a representative of the BVCA to attend. In the past month we have had a representative at meetings with Saanich Planning and with Saanich Councillor Vic Derman.
We have not received information about when the 4590 Lochside Dr. eight lot subdivision proposal will go to The Committee of the Whole.

A summary was given of the meeting hosted by David and Nathalie Chambers at the Madrona Farm about the American Bullfrog which is now present in the Blenkinsop Valley. This invasive species lays up to 30,000 eggs at a time. Attempts to eradicate the frogs have been abandoned. Attempts to control them are flawed and may actually assist their spread. A map of the spread of this species on Vancouver Island follows the route of the island highway suggesting that humans are contributing to the spread. It is recommended that as many mature American Bullfrogs be captured as possible and euthanized humanely by refrigeration for 3 hours followed by freezing. There are native frog species which should be looked for and released if found.

The BVCA has been involved in an issue where, for seven years, a property has been using high intensity night lights in contravention of a covenant held by the municipality on that property. We were initially asked for assistance by neighbours who are troubled by the lights and subsequently we were asked by the property representatives (at the urging of the municipality) to arrange a meeting between them and the neighbours. This was done. Saanich is requesting compliance with the covenant. The property representatives have indicated they plan to request that the covenant be altered so this will likely go before the Saanich Council where public input would be possible. The BVCA has not taken a position on this issue as of yet.

The BVCA directors welcome your comments.

 

With thanks,

BVCA directors

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