Keeping in touch
In March the RDN Directors developed a new Strategic Plan, which will set the RDN’s priorities and direction for the next three years. The overarching purpose of the Strategic Plan is to focus the Directors decisions and ensure effective use of the resources and taxes that you provide. Three priorities that are of particular interest to Area H are watershed and drinking water protection, environmental protection, and governance and communication. More detail can be found in the June issue of RDN Regional Perspectives or by visiting the RDN Website.
I’m pleased to report that we are making excellent progress with the new Official Community Plan (OCP) for Area H and will have a draft ready for your review in September. The community’s participation and support has been outstanding. This work by the community will serve us well in the development of an OCP that truly reflects the vision and values of our community for the next 5 -15 years. Thanks to everyone who attended and participated at the OCP meetings and to the OCP Community Working Group, and the RDN staff for their contributions.
|The picnic, boating, and camping season is underway at Horne Lake Regional Park.|
Please let me know if there are any issues where I can be of assistance in finding answers, finding someone with the right answers or recommending solutions. My contact information is on the back of this newsletter.
Wishing you and your family a safe and happy summer.
Dave Bartram, Director, Electoral Area H
Community Services News
New Park Operator for
Horne Lake Regional Park
John Bruce of Happy Trails Park Maintenance is the new Park Operator for Horne Lake Regional Park. Happy Trails Park Maintenance has years of experience managing parks and will operate the park according to the terms of the new Horne Lake Regional Park Management Plan. The 260-acre Regional Park features 3 kilometres of lakefront. The picnicking, boating and camping season is already underway.
Island Pacific Adventures will be providing outdoor education programs such as orienteering, and canoe and water safety. They also currently manage the provincial park at Horne Lake Caves. Horne Lake Regional Park is fast becoming the premier family camping facility on Vancouver Island. For more information on Horne Lake Regional Park call 1-800-874-1055 or visit the Recreation and Parks section of the RDN Website
. Area H Beach Access
Three new Beach Access sites, located along Shoreline Drive, Buccaneer Beach Rd. and Crane Rd., will be developed over the coming months pending Ministry of Transportation approval. Local resident input has caused us to abandon a site at the end of Deep Bay Road.
Upon completion the Beach Access project, we will have 10 Beach Access sites, from Deep Bay to Shaw Hill, accessible to all ages in our community.
Community says goodbye to “District 69 Arena” and anticipates the opening of “Oceanside Place”
|Minor hockey marked the end of an era at the District 69 Arena on April 26 and look forward to playing at Oceanside Place in September.|
The Parksville Curling Club will lease and operate the District 69 Arena and will offer mens, ladies, seniors, juniors and mixed curling. For membership information, call the club at 248-0089. The new multiplex, named “Oceanside Place” will support all D69 ice event requirements as well as provide outstanding venue for concerts, and trade shows. Construction is currently about three weeks behind schedule. The contractor is confident that he can make up this time with good weather over the summer months.
Development Services News
Draft Area H OCP ready by fall
Area H’s Planning Project is on schedule and a draft approach to the new Official Community Plan should be ready this fall for residents and property owners to discuss, review and approve.
On April 28, about 100 citizens attended an OCP forum that featured presentations by federal, provincial, and local agencies. Land and Water BC, the provincial government agency responsible for the sale and leasing of Crown land, raised the possibility of creating two championship golf courses on Crown land adjacent to the Bowser and Qualicum Bay village centres over the next 5-15 years. Land and Water BC doesn’t currently have a buyer for the land and only time will tell if the community supports such a development, however, it is an indication of developer interest in our community.
Area H experienced significant growth in population, in the area of 30%, between 1991 and 1996 as our economy boomed. In 2001 our growth was approximately 3%. With the economy steadily improving, are we about see another period of significant growth? If this occurs, our new OCP will be the framework for how our community is developed in the future. To that end, the Community Working Group and the public have endorsed an Area H community vision and values statement. Policy issues that are being addressed in the Community Working Group Sessions over the next month include development of Crown land, groundwater protection, environmental protection of watercourses, watersheds, and foreshore areas, storm water management and development in the village centres.
For more information on the Area H OCP, visit our Site Office at Magnolia Court in Bowser. It’s open Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. until June 27. Information is also available on the RDN Website or by calling the RDN Planning Department at 954-3798.
Archaeological sites and Area H
Several areas along the coastline of Area H have been identified as being of archaeological significance. One such site is in the Deep Bay Harbour area and contains evidence of aboriginal life going back more than 1,600 years and is registered in the Provincial Heritage Inventory. The Deep Bay Area is one of the most significant archaeological areas along the Eastern coastline of Vancouver Island.
BC’s Heritage Conservation Act protects archaeological sites on both Crown and private lands. The Archaeological Branch of the Ministry of Sustainable Resource Management works to record and conserve archaeological sites. The branch depends on property owners and the public to assist it with preserving and protecting these important links to our past.
Property owners and developers should contact the Archaeological Branch to find out if there is any known archaeological area on or around their property before they begin any earth removal or construction. It is the property owner’s responsibility. An assessment and a permit may be required before any renovations or property improvements can proceed. Property owners and developers should contact the branch immediately if they accidentally discover an archaeological site while building.
The Archaeological Branch can be reached at (250) 356-0882. The branch’s Website at http://srmwww.gov.bc.ca/arch has extensive information on the Heritage Conservation Act, Archaeological Sites and Permits.