Meades Creek Road safety before development

Residents demand that safety issues along Meades Creek Road and the intersection with the Youbou Highway be dealt with

At a meeting held on Oct. 18 at the Youbou Hall, residents once again demanded that safety issues along Meades Creek Road and the intersection with the Youbou Highway be dealt with before more developments take place, as well as the logistics surrounding sewer capacity and future development expansion of the Cottages at Marble Bay by Van Isle Waterfront Development Corp.

The purpose of the meeting was to give a third reading to amendment bylaws No. 3564 and 3565. Basically these two amendment bylaws propose to allow for year round occupancy in the cottages while still keeping the zoning recreational.

“If approved, the amended bylaws would permit both a seasonal and year round occupancy of the subject properties under its current zoning,” Dana Leitch, planner II for the CVRD, told attendees of the meeting.

The CVRD has also introduced two draft covenants.

“One covenant is in regards to a trail corridor on the northwest portion of the property that would connect lands in Marble Bay with the Woodland Shores development. The second covenant that has been proposed would basically restrict subdivision and development on any of the remaining lands until those properties are brought within the boundaries of the community water and sewer system that are owned and operated by the Cowichan Valley Regional District,” said Leitch.

This second covenant would apply to any lots in excess of the 50 already created.

There were many who attended the meeting that took the time to ask questions and voice their concerns. These concerns centred around the capacity of the sewer system with future expansion.

“What concerns me is, when you get down to it, where that developer [for Woodland Shores] wants to move forward – and he’s got the rights to move forward – what are you going to do?” asked Lorne Scheffer Sr.

“The capacity is limited to the field you are talking about. When you develop sewer systems, what you are looking for is you have a mechanical plan, and then you have the disposal area which is the natural hydraulic capacity. You develop the field to its maximum hydraulic capacity so there never will be any expansion of that field. I think that field has the capacity to take about 475 cubic meters a day. That’s the limiting factors of the field. But that capacity of the field right now is greater than ultimately what Woodland Shores will ever have. So we could never go beyond that field’s capacity,” responded David Leitch of the CVRD.

Another major concern voiced by residents was that of traffic safety along Meades Creek Road and the intersection with the Youbou Highway, and alleged promises made in the past to upgrade the intersection before any new developments took place, as well as increased traffic that could result with the increase to year-round occupancy of the development.

“During the Woodland Shores development process there was a traffic study that was done by Boulevard Transportation and one of the recommendations was that it should be upgraded. And after further research . . . [it was] determined that any upgrade to the intersection or improvements, would require the purchase of private property. There wasn’t enough public road right-of-way to upgrade or improve the intersection,” said Dana Leitch.

“So, how do we solve the safety issue?” asked Kathy Woodrow. “That is a major concern because the road is so narrow and it’s dark and there’s no walking area. It was a promise with Woodland Shores so somehow it has to be addressed before anything else happens out there.”

Both the developers, Joe and Rick Bourque, and the CVRD board members present, including Ian Morrison, director for Area F, stated that it is up to the Ministry of Transportation and Highways to deal with infrastructure improvements.

“I’ve made notes that we obviously are going back to our Highways people about . . . the safety issue, regardless of what goes on in the district. Highway safety and that issue, I’ve been hearing it for as long as I’ve been an official,” said Morrison.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, the majority of those Cowichan Lake residents who attended stated that they are opposed to the draft amendment bylaws unless safety issues are addressed.