‘Do Not Proceed’

The following letter from Nerys Poole was published in the June 7th edition of the Undercurrent

In a half page ad (May 24 edition) from The Cape on Bowen Community Development (the Cape), I was pleased to see that they have come to “identify with and respect the Island’s core values” and that they have “sensitivity and respect for all.“

I was then left pondering the sincerity of those comments when I received information from Bowen Island Municipality (BIM) as a result of a freedom of information request, disclosing the following correspondence:

• Letter dated March 20 from Don Ho, the principal of The Cape and owner of lot 13, to BIM, announcing they are proceeding with the construction of the private moorage for lot 13 and attaching a copy of the site plan.

• Email reply dated March 22 from BIM to Mr. Ho noting that there is a concern “the information you provided is not sufficient for you to proceed.”

• Letter dated March 25 from BIM to Mr. Ho, reminding Mr. Ho that a condition of approval from the Provincial Ministry was that he “must consult with BIM prior to constructing your private moorage. . . “ and stating that Mr. Ho is required to “submit a complete set of plans.” The letter identifies a number of concerns, including the fact that the sketch sent to BIM differs from what was approved by Ministry, a reference to their site plan showing a contravention of the upland covenant, issues with the sundeck platform, concerns about the environmental requirements, etc. BIM concluded: “Construction on this project is not (bolded in letter) to proceed” until BIM has reviewed complete submission package as requested.

• Email dated April 3 from Province to Mr. Ho, noting that the revised site plan sent to BIM “is different than the site plan that accompanied your original application” and requesting “an explanation as to how public access will be maintained along the foreshore” and underlining the warning they he must comply with local bylaws prior to commencing construction.

• Letter dated April 24 from Mr. Ho to BIM, enclosing ”a complete set of plans” purporting to address concerns raised in the letter of March 25, 2013.

• Email from BIM bylaw officer, noting the April 24 report of a complaint about possible construction at lots 13 and 11, with bylaw officer attending on April 26 and confirming that forms were being built on the foreshore adjacent to lots 13 and 11.

Letter dated March 25 from BIM to Mr. Ho, reminding him of the original instructions NOT to proceed and that, contrary to this direction, he had started construction, and again asking for revised drawings to address BIM’s specific concerns, one being how mitigation measures will be achieved, and another asking for the Environmental Construction Management Plan as recommended by The Cape’s environmental consultants, Pottinger Gaherty.

• Letter dated May 6 from Mr. Ho to BIM, noting that his contractor will be providing various items addressing some concerns. No documents included.

Stay tuned, as to what good neighbours will do next – maybe listen to the pleas of the community to abandon this ill-conceived project and to demonstrate their “sensitivity and respect for all.“

Thank you, BIM staff, for being diligent in your pursuit of this matter. Please consider a “stop work order” as a necessary next step when builders do not comply.