Keeping in touch
Welcome to the first issue of Electoral Area H Update. Since being elected as your representative on the RDN I have been busy representing your concerns and participating in the development of our new Official Community Plan. It was very satisfying to see the strong interest and participation of residents at our OCP public meetings. This process is critical to the future of our Area and preservation of our rural quality of life. There are many critical development and environmental issues, which we must address.
The RDN is your local government. It provides a diverse range of local services such as community planning, garbage and recycling collection, recreation and recreation facilities such as the Ravensong Aquatic Centre and District 69 Arena, fire protection (through agreements with local fire departments) and regional services such as regional parks and trails, regional planning and solid waste management.
As your Electoral Area Director, I represent you on the RDN Board, the Committee of the Whole and the Electoral Area Planning Committee. I was appointed to sit on the District 69 Recreation Commission, the Building Addition Standing Committee, the Regional Growth Management Monitoring Advisory Committee, the Deep Bay Harbour Authority and the Community Policing Select Committee. My involvement on these very important Committees will allow me to represent your interests better. I hope by this newsletter and future editions to keep you informed. Upon election, I promised you a strong community voice on the RDN Board and more public consultation and involvement. I need to hear from you on local issues. Please feel free to reach me at the phone, fax or email contacts on the back of this newsletter.
Dave Bartram, Director, Electoral Area H
Electoral Area H Planning Project
Excellent turnout for first OCP Information Meeting More than 200 residents and property owners from Deep Bay, Bowser, Qualicum Bay and Dunsmuir and the Shaw Hill area turned out on January 27 for the first public information meeting on the Electoral Area H Planning Project.
The meeting at the Lighthouse Community Centre featured presentations from RDN Planning staff on the process for developing a new Area H Official Community Plan (OCP). OCP preparation and consultation is expected to take one year to complete. Key considerations will include how growth will change our community, how to minimize land use conflicts, and how to protect our environment, including our watershed, aquifers, and foreshore.
The February 12, 2003 OCP public information meeting focused on community visioning and identifying issues that are important to individual communities and the Area as a whole.
Working Group sessions underway
Community Working Group sessions are an important component of the OCP process. They will refine the information and issues advanced at the OCP public meetings. The first two Community Working Group sessions are February 24 and March 5 at 7 p.m. at the Lighthouse Community Centre.
Information on the Area H OCP is available on the RDN Website at www.rdn.bc.ca and by calling the RDN Planning Department at 954- 3798. We will also be opening an OCP Site Office in Area H. Watch for more details on the Site Office’s location and hours.
This flyer is intended for residents in RDN Electoral Area H. Overlapping postal routes could result in some adjacent electoral area residents receiving this newsletter. We hope you find the content of interest.
Community Services News
Construction Underway on Arena Multiplex
Ice sports enthusiasts of all ages from throughout the Oceanside community turned out on January 25, 2003 to celebrate the start of construction for the new Arena Multiplex.
Young representatives from Oceanside Minor Hockey and the Sandy Shores Skating Club joined elected officials, RG Properties President Graham Lee and me for the official ground breaking ceremony at the arena’s Wembley Mall location.
The new facility will provide the capacity to allow new user groups to obtain ice time and minor hockey and figure skating organizations to expand their programs. It will feature two NHL-size ice rinks, a leisure ice sheet, and offices for RDN Recreation and Parks. The existing rink will remain the property of the RDN and be leased and operated by the Parksville Curling Club Society with no public subsidy. The Multiplex is to be completed by September 2003.
Changes to RDN Recreation Grants Programs
The RDN Board approved motion to provide $62,500 in funding for the 2003 Recreation Grants Program. I will support this important program. All community and youth groups providing recreation programs in Area H are eligible to apply for these grants. Applications are available at the District 69 Arena and the Ravensong Aquatic Centre. Patty Biro from Area H has been appointed to the District 69 Rec Commission and has volunteered to serve on the Grants Committee.
Horne Lake Regional Park Management Plan
A long-term management plan for Horne Lake Regional Park is scheduled to go before the RDN Committee of the Whole on March 25th. This new management plan will allow the Regional District to consider contract proposals for the park’s operation and maintenance. The new management plan will focus on improving the standards of the park, its layout, and what park areas are suitable for intensive recreation and what areas need to be managed for environmental sensitivity.
The RDN is proposing up to three new Beach Access opportunities in our area. Prior to consideration by the Board, I will bring the proposals forward for public consultation.
Lighthouse Country Trails
This Area H trail system is part of the “green highway” that will eventually run from Deep Bay to Qualicum Beach. The trail is built entirely by volunteers with financial and planning support from the RDN. Plans for bridging and expansion are in the planning stages. Volunteers are needed. Come and enjoy the great outdoors in Area H.
Highways responds to concerns about local roads
The Minister of Transportation and Highways has responded positively to our letter expressing concerns about the condition of roads leading to Spider Lake and Horne Lake. According to the Area Manager for Roads, money is budgeted in this fiscal year to gravel Spider Lake Road in preparation for chipsealing and to conduct a survey of the Horne Lake Road for future improvements. Highways has advised that next year’s priority, includes further work on Spider Lake Road and improvements to Horne Lake Road in preparation for future hard surfacing.
RDN requests improved ambulance service for Oceanside
Following my motion at the January 14, 2003 Regional Board Meeting, RDN Chairperson Joe Stanhope has written to Minister of Health Services, Colin Hansen, Minister of Health Planning, Sindi Hawkins, and local MLAs stating that the RDN fully supports the Oceanside Community proposal to improve the ambulance service in Oceanside to a fully manned, 24/7 operation with attendants qualified to Level 2. This request is timely because it coincides with a provincial ambulance study that is to be released at the end of February. Fully manned 24/7 ambulance service with Level 2 qualified attendants must be a priority for Oceanside because of our distance from the Nanaimo Regional hospital.
Environmental Services News
RDN staff to look into pesticide use
Area H residents depend on groundwater for their domestic water needs. Concerns have been raised about agricultural and forestry use of pesticides in our watersheds and the possible impact on groundwater. At my request, staff in RDN Environmental Services are looking into this matter.