Statements from Andrew Gower with Responses from FOMP

Statements from Andrew Gower with Responses from FOMP The statements below are from Andrew Gower with responses from our organization. Judge for yourself. Mr. Gower; I am writing this letter to set the record straight, vent some frustration and, hopefully, provide some education. While I have been listed as a “Friend of Maple Pool”, this letter contains my opinions and understanding of the situation, and does not represent the views of the Friends, the Lins, or my company, Wedler Engineering LLP. This letter is my personal view and understanding of the facts, and as such, any errors are also mine. The property on which the Maple Pool campsite sits is currently zoned R1-A. This is a residential zoning that only allows a house, secondary structures, home occupation and, in some cases, agricultural uses. Prior to being annexed by the City, the property was zoned CR-4 – a country residential zoning under the Comox Strathcona Regional District with similar restrictions. The Maple Pool property has never, in its history of operation as a campsite, had zoning that allows the historical use as a seasonal campsite. FOMP Response: True, but absolutely irrelevant. “Legal non-conforming status” arises when the usage of a property predates the zoning bylaw. It simply means that a bylaw cannot be applied retroactively. We are arguing that use for year round residence predated the 1983 bylaw of the regional district. The details of the present zoning don’t matter, because the bylaw does not apply to this property.   Mr. Gower; The City of Courtenay had allowed, and documented, that the use of the Maple Pool site as a “seasonal...

November 12, 2014 Press Release

Following a successful peaceful march on city hall yesterday the Friends of Maple Pool are now releasing the names of those candidates in the upcoming Courtenay municipal election who have committed to end the Maple Pool lawsuit. Spokesperson Dick Clancy said that the outpouring of support from the community sends a clear message to the soon to be elected council that they have a clear mandate to end the lawsuit. The Friends of Maple Pool asked each candidate to choose between committing to pursue the lawsuit and the eviction of the Maple Pool residents or to commit to vote to permanently stop the city’s legal action to close down Maple Pool campsite and evict its residents. All candidates were advised that their response to the questions that were posed may be made public. The following candidates answered the specific questions that were asked and made the commitment to vote to end the lawsuit: Incumbent Candidates: Mayor Larry Jangula and Councillor Manno Theos. Non-incumbent Candidates: Terry Chaney, Bob Wells, Dan Doerkson, Stu McInnis, Erik Eriksson, David Frisch and George Knox. The Friends of Maple Pool organization is comprised of community members who come from right across the political spectrum. We do not endorse any particular candidate but we are making public the names of those candidates who have committed to ending the lawsuit. For a full list of Candidates positions please look under the Elections 2014 tab...

Response from the Friends of Maple Pool

On June 17th Mike Hamilton, together with Andrew Gower, the engineer working for Friends of Maple Pool (the “Friends”) met with senior Courtenay City staff.  Mike and Andrew presented a plan for resolving the conflict between the City and Maple Pool.  This plan was based on two fundamental points.  First, the City would finally terminate the ill-advised lawsuit it has been pursuing for three years against the Owner of Maple Pool; second, Mike and his group of volunteers from the Courtenay business community would undertake and pay for physical changes to the Maple Pool property which would address all the City’s alleged safety concerns. There was also discussion of a possible re-zoning of Maple Pool, but much confusion has arisen about the rezoning process, who wants the rezoning, and the present legal status of the property with respect to zoning.  For this reason, we shall address the re-zoning issue separately on our website, within the coming week. In any event, City staff told Mike Hamilton at the end of the meeting on June 17 that the City would have a response to him by “the end of the week”.  Mike Hamilton finally received this response on August 6. The Friends are pleased on the one hand that after four years City councillors have finally made some positive suggestions concerning possible solution of this issue.  It is the first time this has happened and we think the City’s August 6 statement contains some positive suggestions.  And it is certainly fitting that politicians should sound positive on the eve of elections which will determine whether they continue as our representatives on...

City Responds to “Friends of Maple Pool” Proposal

City Responds to “Friends of Maple Pool” Proposal Following a June 16, 2014 letter from the Friends of Maple Pool, representatives from the City of Courtenay and the Friends of Maple Pool met on July 17 to discuss possible resolutions to the land-use and safety issues at the Maple Pool Campground. Subsequently, Courtenay City Council met on August 5 to discuss the proposal from the Friends of Maple Pool. Acting Mayor Bill Anglin has now responded to the Friends of Maple Pool on behalf of Courtenay City Council. A copy of the letter, which includes extensive details of proposed commitments by the City, the Friends of Maple Pool, and the Maple Pool property owners and residents, is available here: August 6, 2014 Response to “Friends of Maple Pool” Proposal “We appreciate the efforts of the Friends of Maple Pool to find workable solutions to the concerns at the site,” said Anglin. “We felt the meeting was productive and represented a positive step forward towards eventually resolving this issue.” Many ideas and options were discussed. While the City is required by law to follow provincial and federal regulations and processes in searching for solutions, there are some areas where compromise is possible. The City is willing to use its discretion in these instances to make a workable solution more attainable. The letter spells out the process and requirements to bring the Maple Pool Campground into compliance with zoning and other regulations, including, in part: Council’s willingness to proceed with a unilateral rezoning application and public hearing, which would eliminate any rezoning application costs by the applicant A commitment by Council to suspend legal action until the new year to allow...

Statement on Maple Pool Court Case – City of Courtenay

April 11, 2014 Courtenay City Council has reviewed the recent court judgment by Justice Baird to allow additional parties to an existing court action between the City of Courtenay and the owner of the Maple Pool Campground. After careful consideration and deliberation, Courtenay Council has resolved to proceed with the enforcement of the City’s bylaws in relation to zoning, Official Community Plan (OCP), and flood hazard issues on property. There are many aspects to this case that we are not able to discuss publicly due to the ongoing litigation. Here are the facts that we can talk about: Some have commented that the risk to occupants from flooding at Maple Pool Campground is low and is limited simply to “wet feet”. We must point out, once again, that the risk is indeed real and significant. The Province of BC notes: Vehicles, including SUVs, are commonly carried off of roadways in as little as 0.6 metres (2 feet) of moving water. Walking in moving water deeper than 0.15 metres (6 inches) is potentially dangerous. Further, they explain that “…most people do not know that even minor depths, flows, and velocities of flood waters can create life-threatening conditions.” The City witnessed flooding in some occupied campsites at Maple Pool that was knee-deep or higher. The Comox Valley Emergency Program created Emergency Evacuation guidelines for Maple Pool in 2010, which included guidelines on which campsites were unsafe to occupy during the flooding season (October 15 to May 1). However in both the 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 flood seasons, Maple Pool was found in violation of these guidelines, placing several trailers in the high risk zone. Maple Pool has a...