The BIM council meeting of Tues., Oct. 15, was marked by several angry outbursts from Mayor Jack Adelaar. Watch the video and see for yourself. Note especially the first five minutes, where he issues a 24-hour ultimatum to two members of the community, and the 14-minute mark, where he yells during public comments, “Shut up,” “Shut up,” and then “Get on with it.” Unfortunately, the news story ended up being about the mayor’s bad behaviour, not about the docks.
September brought back the whales and the surf scoters:
There is news! The District of West Vancouver’s Land and Property Agent, Gordon Reid, has this to say about the Bowen docks bylaw:
It seems that the Municipality is determined to create bylaws to allow docks. This is very unfortunate and shortsighted. Once privatized this public land area will never be returned to the public.
Municipalities spend millions of dollars to build, maintain and replace public infrastructure such as playing fields etc. The foreshore provides this same public amenity at no cost to the taxpayer. All that it takes is for the municipality to enact legislation to protect it and they will have a highly valued asset that is in existence in perpetuity with no cost or maintenance.
The District of West Vancouver has completed its Park Master Plan (June 7, 2012) and one quote in regard to the foreshore that speaks volumes is section 3.4 which reads: “The long spectacular waterfront is one of the District’s most unique and treasured assets. It is also very well used, as indicated in telephone survey. Protecting, enhancing, celebrating and ensuring access to the waterfront was among the key themes of focus groups.”
I think the Bowen Island municipality should include this language in any policy related to the foreshore and not allow any new construction of any kind on the foreshore that would be used for private purposes.
Please forward this to those people at the municipality and in the community who have an interest in this matter.
P.S. Undercurrent – please publish this in the next available edition.
Melissa Harrison of Stop The Docks provided the following report on the violation of the land covenant at Lot 11:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 19, 2013
Province Rejects Request to Stop Private Dock Construction at Cape Roger Curtis
Work Commences on Second Private Dock at Pebble Beach
Campaign Calls for Public Action
On July 22, 2013, Stop the Docks Campaign wrote the Province of BC to request that all efforts to proceed with private docks on the public lands at Cape Roger Curtis be stopped immediately. The letter to Minister Thomson was copied to our elected officials, other governments (Canada, Islands Trust, Bowen Municipality) and responsible departments (DFO, Transport Canada). The Minister responded on August 12, 2013 and rejected the Campaign’s request to intervene.
In its response, the Province refused to take responsibility for enforcing its own land use policies, or those of its subordinate governments (Islands Trust, BIM), or ensuring proper process in determining the appropriate use of public foreshore lands at Cape Roger Curtis. The Province prefers, instead, to hand the ball of responsibility directly to local government. In a follow-up email from Keith Anderson (Manager, Authorizations, South Coast Region, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations), dated August 13, 2013, he clarified the Province’s position as follows:
“The ministry’s position continues to be that if the residents of Bowen Island want to prohibit the construction of docks at Cape Roger Curtis, then the local government must implement the appropriate zoning bylaws, which they have the power to do so, to reflect those community goals.”
In closed meetings, Bowen Island Council has twice overturned staff recommendations to oppose the private docks at Cape Roger Curtis. Despite overwhelming support by 1,300+ residents and visitors to protect our three municipal parks, coastal trail and public shoreline at the Cape, Council has refused to properly enforce existing Official Community Plan policies and regulations in the community’s Land Use Bylaw. Further, Council has failed to act in a timely and responsible manner to lawfully adopt and enforce measures to stop the first four docks from proceeding to construction and prevent future docks from further harming the coastline area at the Cape.
On August 13, 2013, work commenced on the wood forms to encase one of the cement platforms for the private pier at Lot 11 at Cape Roger Curtis. This dock will bisect the main public beach and extend over 250 feet directly into the sheltered bay used for public swimming, boating and other marine activity.
Stop the Docks Campaign representative Doug Hooper (former Councillor, BIM) reflected on governments’ refusal to act to prevent the destruction of the Cape Roger Curtis foreshore: “The Province and Bowen Council have failed Bowen Island residents and all British Columbians. The Cape had been protected for generations by good land stewards, wiser governments and more diligent public servants. It has always been a place where families and individuals went to play, learn, reflect, create and heal and nourish themselves. For either government to place responsibility with the other is a farce – our local government and our provincial government have fundamentally failed to uphold their own policies and regulations and responsibly serve the needs of the community, visitors and the environment.”
In responding to the new construction work at Pebble Beach, Cape Roger Curtis, Hooper stated: “The Lighthouse and Pebble Beach municipal parks at Cape Roger Curtis are two of three natural jewels and major public use areas. This second dock will destroy the pristine beach park that we have worked for decades to protect. The damage being done by a handful of private interests will permanently impair public use for generations. The public is urged to take action – we must, collectively, insist that Bowen Council and the province take responsibility for protecting the Cape.”
Melissa Harrison 604-349-7324
Doug Hooper 778-773-1122
July 24, 2013
Bowen Island Undercurrent
COUNCIL OVER-RULED STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO REJECT CAPE ROGER CURTIS DOCKS
The Stops the Docks campaign has received BIM Documents on July 22, 2013 under a Freedom of Information Request.
In the Planning Department Report of June 25th 2012, BIM staff recommended that Council pass a resolution “that the Province be requested to withhold approval of all private moorage applications at Cape Roger Curtis” pending extensive studies (paid for by applicant) about the impact of dock applications along that coastline. This report was submitted to Council on June 25, 2012. Council elected to convene a closed meeting (no members of the public allowed) and, in that meeting, ignored the very clear recommendations of its planning staff and permitted the docks at Cape Roger Curtis. The report from staff included the following:
“In this case staff are of the view that while the uses are foreseen in the LUB, the cumulative impacts of this development may be in contravention of the zoning and of the OCP. The size and scale of the individual applications, their location immediately adjacent to the points for public access to the sea, their cumulative environmental and aesthetic effect if extended along the coastline, the precedent that their approval would set and the potential for significant impact to the CRC coastline are of significant concern. The incremental approval of applications in the absence of a vision for the future of the coastline is not a preferred solution.”
A full copy of the staff report will be placed on the stopthedocks website.
Through a copy of this letter, we are asking BIM Council to explain:
1. Why did Council reject staff’s recommendation to NOT APPROVE the Cape Roger Curtis private docks?
2. Why were Council’s meetings on the Cape Roger Curtis private docks held in secret sessions closed to the public?
(on behalf of the stopthedocks campaign)
cc. Mayor and Council, BIM
Open House on Proposed Dock Bylaws, this Thursday, 25th 5-8pm at Cates Hill Chapel
BIM is holding an open house with Q&As this Thursday. The municipality is proposing some restrictions on size, position, and location of docks. We are concerned that the “restrictions” proposed may actually permit docks where none have been allowed before. In fact, as the bylaw now stands, it would allow four of the six proposed structures.
Please come along and show your support for no docks at the Cape and share your perspective on protecting Bowen’s beaches. You can find more information on our concerns here.
Comments close for the proposed docks at Lots 1 and 14, Sunday July 28th
As you know, the developers of the Cape have applied for two more docks at lots 1 and 14. At lot 14, the huge proposed dock would be adjacent to the lighthouse.
Please make sure you share your perspective with the Province. You can find more information and links to the Province’s comments form, right here.
Construction begins at Lot 13
Construction is now fully underway on the lot 13 dock and we begin to see the true scale of the structure. The photo below shows the support mounted on one of the footings that was originally poured for the disallowed sundeck. We asked the Province that the owners be required to remove the footings and enlarge the correctly placed ones to suit the new configuration. The Province said that it would be less environmentally damaging to leave these in place than to take them out. The current plan seems to be to mount 24’ beams across these footings to support the 6’ walkway, leaving 18’ of unnecessary eyesore projecting from each one.
If you would like to let the Province know what you think about this decision, you can do so here.
Additional photos are here.
BIM chief administrative officer Kathy Lalonde has confirmed the following:
“Bowen Island Municipality has recommended to the Province that the proposed private moorage applications for Lot 1 (File #2410880) and Lot 14 (File
#2410081) at Cape Roger Curtis be refused as they do not conform to draft BIM Bylaw No. 335, 2013.
“Further, the Province was notified of Council’s resolution of June 25, 2013 indicating that Council requests that the Province consider deferring its review of foreshore tenure applications for Bowen Island until Bylaw No. 335, 2013 is adopted.”
The Open House on the dock bylaws is now confirmed for Thursday, July 25, 5 to 8 p.m., Cates Hill Chapel. Details will be posted on the BIM website.
WHAT TO DO NEXT? PARTY!
Sunday June 23, 12-2pm
Meet us a Pebble Beach for a picnic and music with Keona and Neil Hammond, Pauline LeBel, Doug Stepple and more. Please let your friends know as well.
Walk, cycle or carpool, as parking is very limited at the Cape. Pebble Beach is at the end of Roger Curtis Lane (mid point of the Roger Curtis Sea Walk).
We sought the best quality legal advice and were fortunate to engage James Goulden, a partner at the downtown law firm of Bull Houser Tupper LLP (Bull Houser). Bull Houser has a large local government practice and acts for a number of municipalities, including North Vancouver, Sechelt and Coquitlam. James Goulden is co-leader of Bull Houser’s Local Government Group, he has experience in all types of local government disputes, and has appeared before all levels of court in BC as well as federal court.