Category Archives: Dialogue

Fearful conclusions

[indicates edits after original posting]

I found the latest issue of The Bowenian in my mailbox the other day. It’s always a challenging read because there are usually just enough facts to make its fearful conclusions seem plausible. These facts are typically balanced by a careful disregard of any facts that don’t support them.

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Less is not more when it means…

In her guest editorial for The Bulletin, Nerys Poole introduces us to a number of reports on the “effect of residential growth on a community’s bottom line.” As interesting as these reports are and as valid as they may be for the communities referenced, they bear no resemblance to Bowen Island with respect to classification, size, climate, municipal budget or geographic location.

Nerys goes on to imply that this council is promoting a “more is more” message by encouraging the “continual expansion of residential development” and ignoring the Official Community Plan. She hopes this council “will consider the fiscal realities before approving more single family residential development.”

Perhaps if Nerys had spent as much time studying Bowen Island and this council’s actions as she has studying other communities, she would have discovered the following:

  • The last solely single-family residential development approved on Bowen Island was at Cape Roger Curtis (CRC) during Nerys’ term on council.
  • To date this council has approved only one residential development, Belterra, a cohousing development that will provide diversity of housing on Bowen as well as several affordable non-market units.
  • The only residential development currently being considered by this council is the Arbutus Ridge development, which originally came forward to staff as a proposal for about eight 10-acre single-family residential lots (like the one approved for CRC but on a smaller scale). Staff suggested the proponent come back to the table with a proposal more in keeping with the OCP if he wished to interest this council in a re-zoning. Arbutus Ridge is now proposed as 39 single-family lots combined with a live-work component providing affordable housing for adults with disabilities and for seniors.

During Nerys’ term, council neglected to move forward with either Bowen Island Properties’ proposal for multi-family live-work affordable housing on Parkview Slopes (adjacent to Snug Cove) or the re-zoning of Lot 3 of the Community Lands for mixed-use and multi-family residences, even though the latter re-zoning was fully consistent with the approach she now espouses.

It is encouraging to see Nerys move away from the ten-acre single-family mindset. As this council moves to re-zone the community lands to provide higher density and mixed uses in and around Snug Cove, I look forward to her support; not only because this will enhance sustainability on Bowen Island and is consistent with the OCP, but because less is not more when it means a shrinking population and declining opportunities to live and work on Bowen Island.

Make your own conclusions…

Two political publications appeared in our mailboxes this past week. One appears bi-weekly and lately seems to have little purpose other than to assign sinister and unethical motives to councillors. The other appears whenever the publishers determine that an issue can gain them some political capital. Both these publications were willing and eager supporters of the tactics used to negotiate an offer of a 300-acre waterfront park at Cape Roger Curtis into 59 privately held ten-acre lots with just three beach access points. Continue reading

More pipes and water…

In reference to his recent blog post, Murray Skeels stated on the forum: “I would hope that the truth about the docks bylaw is disseminated well before the Public Hearing on November 12.” In light of this statement one questions why he has chosen instead to disseminate misinformation and suggest bad faith on the part of councillors. Continue reading

Sacred Cows

My recent satirical response to Murray Skeels ‘Dangerous’ prompted scathing responses on Barbara Wiltshire’s forum. The responses were of course anticipated. They are typical, to the point of repetitive, of the responses to most posts where I point out the inconsistencies in arguments supporting a certain partisan approach.
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Who is stirring what?

In his most recent letter to the Undercurrent (Friday, 26 July 2013), John Sbragia accuses this council of “stirring up the issue of the CRC park.” I am not aware of any occasion where this council has even discussed the CRC park (or lack thereof).  Continue reading

How did I get here?

The decision to come to Bowen Island was one of the most significant markers in my life.

I arrived on Bowen Island in June of 2005, and was joined by my wife Darcie and our son Buzz later that month. We came to Bowen so that my son could attend Island Pacific School for Grades 8 and 9 in preparation for high school – unquestionably the best decision we have ever made with respect to his education.

The idea originally was to spend the two years on the Island and then move back to the mainland. (At that time I had a very portable log home design business.) I realized within my first month on the Island that this was the first place I had ever felt truly at home, and that it would be some time before I left – willingly. Continue reading

Does the end justify the means?

On Monday, May 27, 2013, the Stop The Docks (STD) group made a presentation to Council.

Leading up to this presentation, STD created a flyer titled “Stop the Private Docks at Cape Roger Curtis,” published it and mail-dropped it.

It is this flyer which prompted the title of this post: “Does the end justify the means?” Continue reading

No need for professionalism on Bowen Island?

Murray Skeels is back this week to give us the benefit of his unique interpretations, this time of the Strategic Business Plan.

Murray seems to be really upset about the professionalism demonstrated in the 2013 Strategic Business Plan, and he yearns for “our normal plain old” Strategic Plan.

Continue reading