Archive for the 'Bowen Island' Category

A Letter to Mayor and Council/Artificial Turf

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

I am writing regarding your upcoming decision with respect to the proposed artificial turf field. The issue has certainly been quite polarizing in our community, with both firmly entrenched support and similarly entrenched opposition.

It is now your task to decide. The project has been attacked for its cost, its support of an artificial playing surface, its affront to “rural” values, its negative health and environmental impacts, its support of urbanization, and the reality that it will require the removal of several trees.

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So You Want to be a Councillor? A Primer for Those Who Might

Thursday, September 25th, 2008

A recent poll revealed that Canadians have quite differing levels of trust when it comes to different professions. While nurses and teachers enjoy the trust of more than 75 per cent of the public, politicians are highly trusted by a meagre 14 per cent.
It is in this climate of mistrust and suspicion that you must enter your nomination papers, hopeful of the opportunity to serve the people of Bowen Island. Unfortunately, if you are one of the first six who surge past the post on November 15th a few even more significant obstacles will be placed in your path.

Beware the Financial Rewards and Perks of High Office:

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Bowen Island: Council Gives Green Light to Economic and Social Diversity

Friday, June 8th, 2007

Bowen Island’s Council has unanimously endorsed a land disposition strategy for the Surplus Lands, a strategy that will create a mix of multi-family townhouses and apartments, affordable housing, and single family homes on a 21 acre parcel of land, stretching along Mount Gardner Road from the Bowen Island Community School to Green Road.

The strategy was unveiled at a special council meeting on May 17th, the product of a unanimous recommendation to Council by the Surplus Lands Working Group. This Group was asked last fall to make recommendations regarding the disposition of some of the 38 plus acres of land acquired by the Municipality from the GVRD in 2005 for $2,000,000. Council indicated at the time that the $2 million debt imposed on Bowen taxpayers would be recovered by sale of a portion of these lands. The current Council has continued to endorse this strategy.

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The Queen of Capilano

Monday, April 30th, 2007

The Queen of Capilano has returned, not to earth, but to the waters between Horseshoe Bay and Bowen Island. Her first week back in service, after a multi-million dollar refit, has received somewhat less than glowing reviews. The problem: the freshly painted boat, with its newly installed carpet, is consistently late, less likely to be on time than before its overhaul.

B.C. Ferries has this to say about the current situation:

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Cape Roger Curtis: A Letter to the Approving Officer

Tuesday, January 23rd, 2007

Isabell Hadford
Approving Officer
Bowen Island Municipality

Re: Cape Roger Curtis Subdivision Proposal

Dear Isabell:

We are writing to add our voices to the overwhelming majority of Bowen Islanders who oppose the current proposal to subdivide the Cape Roger Curtis property into 58 ten acre residential lots. This proposal is contrary to the public interest. It was clear to any prospective purchasers at the time of sale that there was a substantial local interest in retaining a significant portion of the property for conservation purposes; the discounted price that the current owners paid for the property reflected this reality — any purchaser was be expected to try to meet the interests of the community through a thoughtful and creative process of rezoning.

What the current owners are proposing is nothing short of a slap in the face to the people of Bowen Island: no attempt to rezone, but a hasty attempt to subdivide — to make a substantial and relatively immediate return on their investment, without any regard for what the people of Bowen Island actually want. We urge you to reject this proposal, and we hope that the owners will decide either to proceed with sale of the property, or, finally, to make a sincere commitment to engage in the process of rezoning.

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Stormy Weather

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

No matter where you live, there are almost always risks associated with weather. In central Canada, summer thunderstorms can be very dangerous, in California there are the fires of late summer and early fall, and in coastal British Columbia, the winds of late fall and winter. Last Wednesday was what one might call a wind event on Bowen Island — power out for a day and a half, and in our own case, a maple and a hemlock smashing across our driveway and through our power lines. The point of this commentary is merely to acknowledge both the benefits and the risks of living amongst very large fir, cedar, hemlock, alder and maple — and to thank those who came to help restore what we often take for granted. Hats off to the folks from B.C. Hydro, Shaw, Telus, and my neighbours Al and Ethan Leigh.

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Bowen Island and Eco-Density

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

For the past 27 years I have lived on Bowen Island, a small community just a few miles from the affluent city of West Vancouver. The island is mostly coastal rainforest, with rocky shores, warm dry summers, and cool wet winters. In the past 27 years the number of full-time residents has climbed from about 700 to almost 5,000.

The island has been discovered by a growing legion of retired couples, young families, tele-commuters, and artists. Back in 1996, when we amended our Official Community Plan we thought we had cleverly devised a plan that would keep our island small and green. We set out to encourage only single family dwellings on 2.5, 5 and 10 acre lots, an approach that we thought would both protect more green space, and discourage rapid population growth.

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