RAR – Trustees Close Debate
April 14, 2011 1 Comment
“New DPA for RAR and water quality gets first reading after public debate” was the title of the article, but, unless I missed something, there wasn’t anything closely resembling “public debate.”
In fact, one of the resolutions the Trustees passed directed staff to schedule, specifically, a “Community Information Meeting,” and not a “Community Consultation Meeting.”
The difference between the two meeting formats is that, unlike the previous two public RAR meetings, which allowed for group Q & A’s, and actual debate, the next meeting will not. It’s purpose is to “inform,” not “consult” with the public. One has to ask what is the fear in further consultation on the now proposed bylaw?
It appears two-way “consultation” with the public has now been cut off, since the Trustees also directed staff to schedule a “Public Hearing” to occur after the Information Meeting. At the “Public Hearing” the Trustees must sit and listen to what you have to say, but, you won’t from now on be able to “debate” the issue with them or staff.
After the “Public Hearing,” legislatively the Trustees can’t “hear” any more information on the subject, and the Trustees have already indicated they plan to give the proposed amendments 2nd and 3rd readings shortly thereafter.
They have, also, already publicly stated they are trying to meet a self-imposed “deadline” for the passage of complex amendments to the OCP which most people on Salt Spring have not even yet had a chance to read. In fact, as of the time of this post, 7 days after first reading, the proposed Bylaw 449 is not even posted on the Trust’s website – http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/ltc/ss/bylaws.cfm (Let’s see how long it takes them after this post goes live.)
Unlike single development applications, which affect only a few properties, and which can take years to process, and can stumble on the slightest pretext – (e.g. – the colour or shade of a building), this major change to the OCP and property rights is being rammed through at breakneck speed.
The Trustees have, to date, ignored the public’s request for accurate mapping which other islands have received.
The Trustees have, to date, ignored the argument Salt Spring is already in compliance with the RAR, and has been since 2005.
This train has left the station. Don’t try getting on board because the doors were just closed and locked folks. From here on in you’re welcome to wave, protest, send letters and emails to the Trustees, but, unless it goes off the tracks, the next stop is Full Implementation.
That having been said, sometimes, something as simple as a penny placed on a railroad track can derail a freight train.
Penny for my thoughts?
PS – I will be responding to Trust’s CAO, Linda Adams’ false statements, as reported in the Driftwood article yesterday, in due course.
Full Driftwood article is at http://www.bclocalnews.com/vancouver_island_south/saltspringislanddriftwood/news/119770299.html
PPS – If you haven’t had a chance to see how the proposed changes will possibly affect your property, read my aptly titled post “How the Proposed Riparian Area Mapping Will Affect Your Property.”