Friends of Gospel Rock Society

Make your views known - public hearing

Written by  Thursday, 27 September 2012 08:39

The time is now. The Gospel Rock Neighbourhood Plan (GRNP) Public Hearing is to be held on Thursday, October 11, 2012, at 6 p.m. in the Elphinstone High School gymnasium.

 

Between now and the date of the hearing, people are invited to make their views on the plan known to Council. Once the hearing is complete, no further input will be received, and Council will render a decision soon after.

If adopted, this plan will be amended into our OCP and will form the blueprint for immediate and future development in the Gospel Rock neighbourhood area. At this stage in the process, the plan cannot be changed in any significant way. It is basically all or nothing, now or never.

HOW to make your views known:

Be sure to specify that you want your input to form part of the public record.

1. Send an email to Mayor Wayne Rowe and Council, with copies to the Town Planner, Michael Epp; the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), Emanuel Machado; and the Corporate Officer, Michelle Jansson. Their email addresses are:

 
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2. Mail or deliver a letter to Council, with copies to the staff as above. The postal address is:
 
Mayor and Councillors 
Town of Gibsons
Box 340, 474 S. Fletcher Road
Gibsons, BC  V0N 1V8
 
3. State your opinion at the public hearing. Simply sign up to speak at the door upon arrival. 
You can, if you choose, both submit something in writing and speak at the hearing.
WHAT to say:
 
You can say something as simple as:
 
Dear Mr. Mayor and Councillors: OR Good evening Mr. Mayor and Councillors:
    
I do/do not support the Gospel Rock Neighbourhood Plan as presented. I would like my views to form part of the public record. 
 
Such a statement would be sufficient. However, you no doubt have your reasons for either liking or not the GRNP, and stating those reasons can make an impact. 
 

SOMETHING YOU NEED TO KNOW BFORE THE HEARING

 
On Sept. 12, 2012, the SCRD received a referral for a 15-lot subdivision for Block 7 in the Gospel Rock Neighbourhood Plan area. The zoning bylaw designation for Block 7 allows for minimum parcel size of 1.98 acres. In this application, there is no development on the slopes or the waterfront because protections still exist.  With this application the town has the right to bargain for park and protect the ecosystem. We also still have the opportunity to try to buy land up top for park for a reasonable price because we don’t have to buy the waterfront. 
 

This subdivision application resolves one of the most contentious issues related to the Gospel Rock Neighbourhood plan—waterfront development. Yet on Sept. 18, Council voted 32 to take a plan with waterfront development in it to public hearing. Why is this Council pushing ahead with a neighbourhood plan that gives away what the community has been asking for, when they have this application on the table?  See subdivision application pg 161.

 
 

FRIENDS OF GOSPEL ROCK SOCIETY VIEW

 
Sadly, after eight years and much hope for this planning process, FOGRS deeply regrets that we simply cannot support the Gospel Rock Neighbourhood Plan as written. 
 
Not only is it incomplete and substandard, it removes protections we currently have and provides little in return.
 
Gibsons Official Community Plan sets out specific guidelines, policies, and objectives for what this neighbourhood plan should deliver. Lamentably, the GRNP falls significantly short of these. Read `What`s wrong with the plan?` here.
 
The Sunshine Coast Regional District, the Ministry of Transportation, the Agricultural Land Commission, the Sunshine Coast Conservation Association, Gibsons Volunteer Fire Department, Elphinstone Elector’s Association, and the Gibsons Alliance of Business and Community as well as FOGRS have all provided feedback to the Town expressing that their issues have not been resolved in this plan.  See section 4.4 Gospel Rock Neighbourhood Plan Draft 4.2 Referral Comments on pages 10 to 61 at this link.
 

CONCLUSION

 
We cannot state strongly enough that this is our LAST CHANCE to have any input into this process. Make no mistake: if Council persists in passing this flawed plan and it is adopted into our OCP, it will burn into place possibilities for development that we will have to live with for generations. 
  

Please make your views known.

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