Trustee Notes from January issue of Our Isle and Times

Here, for those who don't get Our Isle and Times, are the Trustee Notes that were in the January issue:

from Peter

I had been hoping that there would be a pretty large community response to our False Bay Master Plan (FBMP from here on) newsletter, with views expressed by community members on most, if not all, the subjects we outlined. So far, the response from the public has been extremely modest.

The newsletter on the FBMP, mailed to all households on Lasqueti, and also to off-island landowners, is posted on the internet. A link to it can be found on the Trust website, on the Lasqueti Projects and Initiatives page.

I have set up a forum on the Lasqueti web-site on this topic, and a short while posted a thoughtful letter from Guy Immega. It's at   There is a link to the FBMP newsletter there.

(It's unfortunate that there is no longer an Internet Centre on Lasqueti, where people without their own computers can access the internet. Hopefully people will be able to use a friend or neighbour's computer to read postings on the various FBMP subjects, and to post their own views and questions, etc.  There are several "hot-spots" where you can connect a computer to the internet, and there is always the public library on Vancouver Island or elsewhere.) 

If computer and/or internet are a problem for you, please put your thoughts in writing and mail or get them to me. I can scan them and post them, or just read them if you want your views to remain private. You can also phone me, or Susan, or talk to us when you see us in the community. We will also be scheduling Community Information meetings in March and April.

In my view, community discussion is a great way to solve problems, or at least to begin working to solve them. In hearing (or reading) others' points of view, we have more understanding of the problems, or aspects of them, and often the problems get smaller, sort of self-solving, When most members of the community realize that there is a problem, and that they can still get what they need or want and also include others' views and values, the problem diminishes.

The Trust can not solve the parking problem. Neither can the Regional District. For a while, officials in the Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure seemed willing to devolve authority over non-road parts of their right-of-way in the False Bay area to the Powell River Regional District (PRRD). This would have given PRRD some authority to work on the parking situation. However, they decided not to do this, so no local government has any authority to do anything, and the ones with authority are not local and don't want to deal with it. We'll have to do this ourselves, cooperatively. Listening to each other, and being considerate and cooperative can go a very long way. 

There are a number of facets to the situation. All those parked cars, including some that look like wrecks that won't run, take up a lot of public space, and don't add positively to the rural ambiance and atmosphere. There can be a shortage of spots for short-term parking when we need to go over for the day or a few days. I believe that there is a safety problem at the top of the hill, where longer vehicles on one side stick out into the roadway, and parked vehicles on the other side also restrict the room for vehicles to pass each other. So far, careful and considerate driving, and care by pedestrians and cyclists, had avoided a major accident, but the situation is dangerously crowded in the busiest vehicle area we have, especially at ferry time.

Other issues we'd like to address as part of the FBMP:

Hunting area regulations awareness. We have no way to change or control the regulations, be we can try to make sure that everyone hunting knows that much of Lasqueti, and almost all of the False Bay area, is populated, and that hunting must be done with utmost care. People can be, and often are, anywhere, including in the woods. Safety with firearms, as with vehicles, is extremely important to everyone.

Bed and breakfast - secondary kitchens. Our Official Community Plan (OCP) and Land Use Bylaw (LUB) permit every residence to conduct a bed and breakfast operation with up to three bedrooms inside each permitted residence. The LUB also specifies that each residence has only one kitchen. I think this is to prevent anyone from claiming to have only one residence permitted by our LUB if they in fact have a duplex, but I'm not sure of this. Given that some of the people who run B&Bs live a long way from the False Bay area, and that the commercial food establishments are not open every day for lunch and dinner, it seems reasonable to allow B&Bs to have a secondary kitchen for their guests to cook and prepare their own (non-breakfast) meals. (I don't know if B&Bs need to provide breakfasts to their guests.)

Land use density. Do we need more commercial or industrially zoned land? Where should it be located? Are there places it should not be located? The main intent of our community over the past nearly 40 years, has to allow only one residence per legal parcel, and only one residence per 10 acres for larger properties (and to prohibit sub-division below ten acres). This, it has been believed, will keep a somewhat low density of residential development, and will allow most residences to likely have access to enough area to have privacy, a garden site, adequate water, firewood and space for septic system, etc. It will (it is hoped) also not overstress our other services - ferry, fire, first responder, school, etc.

General concerns about False Bay issues. All ideas, thoughts, questions and comments on any other topics are welcome.

The Lasqueti Trust Committee has scheduled five regular business meetings for the coming year. We can schedule others, if needed. They are to be held, all on Thursdays from 11 til 3ish: February 27, May 1, July 3, August 28, October 16. Three of them will be at the Arts Centre. The July and August meetings will be at the church, across the road and through the parking lot, because the Art Picnic will be at the Arts Centre those days. The public is welcome at all meetings. Agenda packages are posted on the Trust website Lasqueti page, and printed copies are posted on Lasqueti, a week or so before the meeting.

The current term of your trustees ends in November this year. I have very much enjoyed my time as a trustee from Lasqueti, and will be considering whether to stand for re-election this fall. I'm very open to your comment and suggestions about this.

My co-trustee, Susan, tells me that a number of people have been talking to her about non-conforming residences (more than the one permitted per parcel or per ten acres) with varying views on them.  I have not heard from anyone about this recently.  If you have concerns, please talk to me or email me.

The Trust's bylaw enforcement manager tells me that it's much better that bylaws permit (or don't permit) structures, rather than uses, as it easy to see if a property has a structure, or how many it has, and it's much more difficult to assess and document uses (or non-uses). However, we have the bylaw we have, and we'll keep it until we change it.  I'd very much like to simplify our Land Use Bylaw, but it won't be done simply and easily, and especially not in what's left of this trustee term.

At our next meeting, end of February, we'll get a report on the actual costs of handling Temporary Use Permits (TUPs) for Lasqueti. I'd like to decrease the fee for them, and in this way encourage people to apply for a TUP when they want to do something that isn't currently allowed by our bylaws. The community, and especially neighbours, can discuss the proposal, and recommend for or against the granting of a TUP, which can last for up to three years, and can be extended for up to three more years, if desired.  I hope we can close the gap that I see between what we say in our LUB that we want people to do, and what people are actually doing. This will mean at least talking and thinking about shifting both.  I'd appreciate hearing from you on this, or anything.

Thanks for your involvement and participation in our community.   Peter

from Susan:
   I hope you have all had a quiet and reflective solstice and happy New Year. The local trust committee is looking for comments on the False Bay master plan. Peter has given a good description of the ways you can make your concerns and comments heard. We only have jurisdiction on land use issues, so some of the things listed are more to bring community awareness to these issues such as hunting and shooting.
     The financial planning committee is working on the 2014-2015 budget and it will soon be available for comment. Please be sure to express your views. I would like to hear comments on encouraging younger members of the community to run for Trustee. I would also like to know if you feel it is important to provide a reasonable remuneration and some aid for computers and internet.

     We are still working on the riparian area regulations so any questions could be addressed at small neighborhood gatherings. Please contact Peter or myself if you are interested.