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


October, 2009  Newsletter

Dear BVCA members:

The BVCA directors met on September 16, 2009, October 7, 2009 and on October 28, 2009. We hope you find the following items of interest:

Peninsula Agricultural Committee (PAC)

The BVCA had representatives at a recent PAC meeting where the issue of crop damage from geese was discussed. Murray Coell was present and indicated he would raise this issue with the ministers of the Environment and Agriculture. He also will keep the opposition agriculture critic informed so that a bipartisan solution can be sought.

The PAC also discussed plans to aid agriculture by building a meat-processing plant on the lower island.

Heritage Road

The BVCA directors met with Saanich Councillor Dean Murdock and Colin Doyle, who is the director of the Saanich Engineering Department. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the concept of designating Blenkinsop Rd. as a heritage road. This concept was first suggested by Mayor Leonard last year.

It was initially suggested by Mr. Doyle that there be an attempt to retain the Blenkinsop Rd characteristics of being rural, country-like and agricultural.

The BVCA directors introduced discussion about traffic concerns and pedestrian/cyclist safety.

There seemed to be a consensus that the short-term goals should include signage and to explore simple traffic measures if possible.

There was support for promoting the history of Blenkinsop Rd and the valley. Suggestions were made to construct kiosks to present this information. One possible site for this would be at the Blenkinsop entrance to the Outerbridge Park. It was felt that we could provide information about the pioneers of the valley, relate stories of historical interest and provide a map indicating the location of historical sites.

There was a suggestion to develop more East-West pedestrian/cyclist connectors between the Lochside Trail and Blenkinsop Rd. This would likely require partnering with private land owners.

A goal was set to introduce a plan about the heritage designation to Blenkinsop Valley residents at a BVCA general meeting in March 2010.

The BVCA would like to solicit historically significant stories about Blenkinsop Road, Blenkinsop Valley and pioneers of the Blenkinsop Valley. If you have any such stories, please forward them to the BVCA.

BVCA Meeting with Saanich Planners

The BVCA met with Anne Topp and Jane Evans of the Saanich Planning Dept. on Oct. 7. This meeting was announced to all residents of the Blenkinsop Valley through the BVCA mailed out newsletter. Approximately 20 people attended and a broad range of topics were discussed.

Topics included an opportunity to acquire parkland for Mt Douglas Park, traffic on Blenkinsop Rd., traffic on the Lochside trail, and the Heritage Rd. project. There was a suggestion that Mt. Douglas Park be closed at times of high fire hazard. The tree bylaw was discussed and it is expected to be updated in the near future. There was discussion about the pros and cons of permitting properties which are adjacent to a sewer line to connect to that line. There was discussion about crop damage from geese and one person mentioned that he had counted 700 geese at one timne on his and his neighbours properties. There was discussion about the Local Area Plan suggestions to encourage best-practices farming and to reduce the use of pesticides. A bylaw is planned to address the use of pesticides in Saanich.

Madrona Farm

In September, Nathalie Chambers of the Madrona Farm (and who is also a BVCA director) reported to the BVCA that the Chambers and their supporters have successfully reached their second financial deadline in their quest to have the farm incorporated into The Land Conservancy. They have one more deadline to complete the project.

With thanks,

the BVCA directors