Each month, Area G Director Lynne Smith prepares informative notes for the Take 5 News Magazine. The magazine is not distributed everywhere in Area G. Director Smith’s notes are reformatted, adapted and updated here to support the widest possible distribution within our electoral area.
Saltair Community Parks, Trails and Beach Accesses
Until June 30th, a Centennial Park Revitalization Plan is available for public input from Saltair residents and taxpayers. You can provide your input by visiting reading the Story Boards, completing the Questionaire Survey, and following and commenting on the Centennial Park Revitalization Plan PlaceSpeak documents.
This approach to Saltair community input provides an opportunity to see and comment on the CVRD’s vision for upgrades, changes and new features in Saltair Centennial Park. I fear it might also raise unreasonable expectations about what changes we can see in the near future.
Saltair’s community parks, trails and beach accesses are maintained by the CVRD. This maintenance cost is taken from the Saltair Community Parks Budget, which is funded solely by Saltair taxpayers. In 2021, the annual tax requisition for the Parks Budget is $140,170 or $18.68 per $100,000 of household property value.
Since 2014, about $200,000 has been taken from the Parks Budget to purchase additional parkland. This has meant less money for maintenance and additional parkland means more money is required for maintenance.
In 2021, the CVRD Staff had assessments done on the court surfaces in Saltair Centennial Park. The sub-surface in the basketball court and in front of the practice tennis wall have failed, creating tripping hazards. The heavily-used trail in the forested area of the Park also presents many tripping hazards. Staff report that tripping hazards are a liability concern for the CVRD. This might require all or some of these three facilities to be upgraded, locked-off or removed.
The Stocking Creek Park Bridge has recently been reinforced with additional beams and posts. it will require replacement in the not-too-distant future.
Our beach access stairways and trails require constant safety monitoring and maintenance. Similarly, partially improved trails in our parks require further improvement.
I understand the safety concerns in our parks are a priority. There is only one budget for doing this and for addressing the proposed upgrades, changes, and new features in the Plan. Foreseen and unforeseen safety issues arising from storms, fires, etc., might mean the Plan is reaching far into the future.
A key question in the Questionnaire Survey concerns the community’s willingness to accept a tax increase to pay for upgrades, changes and new features. In 2019, “70% of  Saltair respondents were not supportive of a tax increase of any kind to fund park improvements to Saltair Centennial Park.” It is evident, without a tax increase or alternative funding, some changes and new features cannot take place or be added anytime soon.
Saltair taxpayers recently approved an up to $270 per year parcel tax increase for the new filtration system, which will generate an increase in Saltair Water System user fees. We are also facing a likely taxation increase due to the Regional Recreation initiative. In addition, one of the goals in the Saltair Official Community Plan is to acquire more parkland beside Stocking Creek between the Stocking Creek Park boundary and the Davis Lagoon Bridge.
I urge you to provide input about and to reflect on the budget and taxation situations when you complete your Survey Questionnaire and provide your Centennial Park Revitalization Plan PlaceSpeak comments. The CVRD needs your guidance in this regard.
The CVRD staff have advised the Electoral Area Directors that an update concerning the HOCP/MOCP initiatives will be presented at the July 7th Special Electoral Area Service Committee Meeting. This will be a chance for the Directors to be updated about the CVRD’s proposals for community engagement.
Saltair is a unique area in the CVRD. Our current OCP took two years to develop. We are fortunate those who developed the OCP saw Saltair remaining as a unique residential space with rural character between the urban centres of Ladysmith and Chemainus. North Cowichan has now added an additional year to working on their OCP and even that time frame is considered tight.
MOCP decisions will guide the future of our area for years to come. Among other things, they need to address sustainable drinking water, traffic increases, drainage, impervious surfaces, our clay soil and septic systems, etc.
Comments are always appreciated email@example.com
FireSmart BC (https://firesmartbc.ca/)
Now that we are out in our yards, it is a good time to look around and ensure your property is FireSmart. You can find firesmart plants at local nurseries. Also, check the FireSmart Homeowners Manual.
You may want to purchase a Wildfire Automated Sprinkler Protection Kit (WASP Kit) from the CVRD.
CVRD Water Restrictions
Are you looking for the latest CVRD Water Restrictions? As environmental changes take place, the restrictions can change from the current Stage 1 to Stage 2 or Stage 3. Keep an eye on this website for updates.
Some Community Fun
The Saltair Association for Local Teamwork (SALT) has provided pumpkin seeds for Saltair children to grow their own pumpkins for our Centennial Park Halloween Event Pumpkin Growing Contest. Who will have the largest pumpkin? Who will have the funniest pumpkin? What a great incentive and opportunity to have children learn about growing produce.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-701-1407.