2011 provided many opportunities for the Comox Town Residents’ Association to continue to fulfill its role as a community voice.
A year when the Official Community Plan (OCP) is revised becomes especially important to the community and this Association. The CTRA was represented at all the public meetings during the OCP process. Although improvements to the process were possible, there was ample opportunity for community input. Now the Council, Residents’ Association and citizens of Comox have a duty to ensure the plan is followed.Another major event of 2011 was the Municipal Election in November. The CTRA organized an All Candidates Meeting on November 3, which was attended by over 300 residents. Joe Smith was chosen as moderator and the event was “live streamed” by My Tech Guys, enabling people residing in the Valley to see and hear the speakers during the event or on their computers afterwards. It was expressed by those present that more opportunities for community input should be organized. For this reason Tom Dishlevoy, a local architect, was invited to address this Annual General Meeting.
Film Nights were provided monthly by Wendy Prothero. For legal reasons of copyright we were unable to continue. However, we may be able to obtain films or videos from another source in the future. Our thanks are due to Wendy for hosting our Film Nights, and for her choice of interesting and informative films and videos.
Jim Whitehead, an executive member, is working with Al Fraser, Superintendent of Comox Parks, with regard to Cottonwood Lane. Since it was set aside 30 years ago by a previous council for a future greenway, it has become overgrown with vegetation. Also, a few adjacent property owners have extended their yards onto the right of way. Jim recently received a letter from Al Fraser to say that the Cottonwood Lane Greenway Project is slated for completion this year (2012). He is completing the necessary preliminary steps, and once he has a more formalized plan in place, he will contact the CTRA and take a look as to how to involve the group and others who may wish to participate in the project. Al thanked Jim for his support and said he looks forward to working with the group on this worthwhile community project.
Barbara Price (who was our President at the time, and resigned to run for a seat on Comox Council) spoke at two Public Hearings for the rezoning of lot sizes at Point Holmes. Her presentation supported nothing less than a minimum lot size of 0.5 ha to allow for conservation of some of the rare Garry Oak/Sand Dune ecosystems. We also asked Council to bring forward a Development Plan which would achieve Conservation objectives. Council did adopt the 0.5 ha minimum lot size. We understand a Development Plan will be bought forward.
The CTRA has had a presence at most Public and Council meetings as well as Open Houses during the year. We continue to work on the preservation of forest land near Pritchard Road (DL 194). This process is on hold until the First Nations Land Claims are settled.
We have given input to the Federal and Provincial Environmental Committees on the social, environmental and economic impacts of the proposed Raven Coal mine. We also continue to keep our members informed on important issues that will impact the quality of life in Comox and the Comox Valley. In order to communicate with our members, newsletters were sent summarizing the work of the CTRA
The Executive thanks the many volunteers who have helped with various tasks throughout the year. We appreciate very much the ongoing support of the membership, without whom we would not exist. The CTRA plays an important role in being a voice for this community. The more members we have the stronger voice we will have. Please do not hesitate to contact us with any concerns you may have.
Information is also posted on our website http://www.ctrahq.wordpress.com. We also have a Facebook page.