Land use bylaw (LUB) Update

Greetings to all. Mudge Islanders,

 

This quick note will try and provide an update on our on-going land use bylaw (LUB) saga.  Yesterday eight Mudge Islanders attended the Gabriola Local Trust Committee (LTC) meeting on Gabriola Island.  As advised in an earlier note, the Islands Trust Planning Staff had prepared draft bylaws that would amend both our LUB and Official Community Plan (OCP).

 

Like most of you who read the document, I was astounded at how far from our original LUB objective this paper seemed to take us.  Please recall that all we asked for was a simple change to our LUB to increase our maximum lot coverage from 10%, and redefine what a “Structure” was.  A simple analysis of the August 16 Staff Report showed that if adopted, we would be mired in more bureaucratic regulations than we already are.  This, the opposite to the preferred manner in which we both like, and are proud to live by.  Our mission yesterday was to stop any plan to initiate an action that required opening up our OCP for amendment.  That process is time consuming, costly and in many respects, contrary to your wishes. 

 

We went to the meeting with two objectives.  The first to request that our Local Trustees reject draft Bylaw 301 out of hand as being unnecessary, and second, to have them give first reading to LUB Draft bylaw 302.  This was the amendment that provided a tiered system of maximum lot coverage.  We wanted the first reading done yesterday as we were made aware earlier this week that neither of our Trustees, Melanie Mamoser and Heather O’Sullivan are seeking re-election this fall.  This is horrible news to Mudge Islanders as Heather and Melanie have been ardent champions for Mudge Island initiatives.  We felt that if the process was delayed past the election, we would be compelled to start again.

 

We spoke at the meeting about what, and how we felt things should progress, stating our goals to all in attendance.  We knew it was more than a long shot that we would be successful.  Elected officials must rely on the professional advice of their Staff, no matter how much we may disagree.  There was a closed “in camera” session at yesterdays meeting where we learned that a legal opinion was presented regarding the Mudge Island OCP/LUB amendments.  Once back in session, it became pretty apparent to us that our Trustees were troubled by the legal advice.  While not privy to what was actually advised, the gist was that the Trustees could not simply reject one draft bylaw and accept the other.  They, by necessity, went together.  Moreover, we were advised that even if the Trustees did as we asked, the chance of having the Bylaw approved by the Islands Trust and other legislative agencies was nil.

 

Sounds really bad so far, however Melanie and Heather came up with an alternative suggestion to relook at the draft Bylaw 299. That was the Bylaw we discussed at our community meeting on Mudge last month.  They asked advice from the Planners if this was appropriate, and whether they could make some small amendments to that document.  Planning Staff advised that this action was appropriate, and when asked if these proposed changes would require an OCP amendment, they advised that they wouldn’t.   While not great news, I admit to feeling more confident that we were again moving in the right direction.

 

The amendments adopted were (in this I am relying on memory alone so may not have the exact wording correct) to remove the limit on pervious driveways (740 square feet) to simply reflect that pervious driveways, walkways and parking spaces were excluded in the calculation of structures;  increasing the size of a wood shed to 150 square feet; and adding another building not to exceed 150 square feet for home agriculture and or food production.  Again, these are simply from my notes and may not be exactly the same as what was adopted.  Things were happening pretty fast at that point.

 

Draft bylaw 299 was amended to include these amendments, and received first reading.  A motion was made to hold a Community Information Meeting (CIM) on Mudge Island (not sure date but very soon I hope while the weather is still good.)  This is really good news for us, at least in my opinion.  If the CIM is held soon enough, there is a very real possibility that proposed bylaw 299 could receive second and third readings while Trustees Heather and Melanie are still in office.  At this point I think that must be our goal.

 

So, where are we exactly?  The short answer is that we are a lot further ahead than we were one year ago.  Did we get everything we wanted?  No, but neither did we really expect to.  Will the changes satisfy everyone?  Probably not, nor did we ever expect to meet that objective.

 

Our primary goal at the beginning was to increase maximum lot coverage from the current 10%.  We soon found that the bigger impediment to us was the very narrow definition of structure which reads, “means any construction and human made land alteration fixed to, supported by, or sunk into land or water; for clarity septic fields, septic tanks, absorption fields and related appurtenances, concrete and asphalt paving or similar surfacing of the land, and retaining structures are considered structures.”   Adoption of Proposed bylaw 299 would fix that huge problem.

 

Frankly, this has been a very long and at times a very frustrating journey to get where we find ourselves today.  I am hopeful that we are finally near to completion.

 

Once we hear the date for the meeting, be assured that we will contact you and let you know the where and when.

 

Respectfully

 

Doug MacDonald

 

Coastal Fire Centre Wildfire News Issue 8

Attached is Issue 8 of Coastal Fire Centre’s Wildfire News.

 

As always, please let us know if you’d like to be removed from the Coastal Fire Centre’s distribution list or know of someone who would like to be added.

 

Have a good weekend,

 

Coastal Fire Centre Information Team

Mudge Island Land Use Bylaws

To all Mudge Islanders,

Below is a link that will take you to the latest Staff Report posted by the Islands Trust Planning Staff in advance of the Gabriola Local Trust Committee Meeting scheduled for Thursday August 16th.
Like the rest of you who were in attendance at the Special LTC meeting held on Mudge in July, I felt that we had crossed a large hurdle and were on our way to finally bringing our LUB to a position that more accurately reflected our very real rural life style.
Turns out I was way off base in my assumption.  The staff report is essentially 26 pages about how to complicate and drag out a very simply process.   Remember, all we are seeking is a reasonable increase to our 10% maximum lot coverage.   What was proposed by the Trustees at our July meeting is the same or less than every other Islands Trust Area.   Why then the nonsense?
To me, the aggressive unfairness is represented best at the end of page 12 where the report reads.  That Draft Bylaws No’s. 301 and 302 be referred to the Mudge Island Advisory Planning Commission, that the meeting be held indoors in an accessible public facility equipped with washrooms and power, and that a member of staff, one trustee and a minute taker attend the meeting.”

If the Trustees agree to this recommendation, which I can’t imagine that they would, all of our Mudge Island business would need to be conducted off Island.   We know from past experience that having Mudge Island business conducted off Island, generally during the week, restricts participation by our community.   Not only is this wrong, but to add insult to injury, we would be required to be supervised by Trust Staff during our meetings.   
My personal opinion is that it is now past time for our Trustees to advise Planning Staff that enough is enough.   That they reject out of hand draft OCP Bylaw 301 as being unnecessary and move draft LUB bylaw 302 to first reading.
Hopefully we can see a few of our community at this meeting
Thursday August 16, 2018
10:15 am
Gabriola Arts and Heritage Centre, 476 South Road, Gabriola Island

http://www.islandstrust.bc.ca/media/346269/gb-ltc-_2018-08-16_agd-pkg_add.pdf

Doug MacDonald

This years FireFest/Auction

Hello Everyone,

Where to begin? Wow!! The numbers are still being crunched but I can now say with confidence that because of each and every one of you, through your donations and participation MICS raised $22,000 at this years event. (A new record)
After all expenses are settled this will be a very nice boost to our coffers. 
From what I saw I thought the event was very well attended and ran fairly smoothly. Thank-you to everyone that contributed and supported, without the overwhelming support of Mudge Island we would not be able to successfully achieve our goals. 
I also want to thank our numerous volunteers, from our kitchen and store help, the crew at the membership table, our stage and sound system crew, our auctioneer, set up and tear down people. Thank you ALL. 
Special thanks to Brenda Peacock for opening up her beautiful property and sharing her space with us so we can come together as a community. 
Congratulations Mudge Islanders once again you have proven that you are an engaged and caring community. 
On behalf of the Board of MICS I thank you all deeply. 
Scott Flemming 

     Thank You.  M.I.C.S find us on the web www.mudge.ca/mics

Coastal Fire Centre Wildfire News Issue 7

Good afternoon,

 

This issue of the Wildfire News focuses on aviation. In addition to the newsletter, we’ve attached a brochure with further information on fire retardants and suppressants if you’d like to learn more.

 

Have a safe and enjoyable B.C. Day weekend,

 

Coastal Fire Centre Information Team

 

 

MICS Auction update.

Something new:  Upon arrival at the entrance to the event, please make certain to stop at the MICS membership table to pick up your AUCTION NUMBER CARDS.  It can be one per family, or one per bidder 😀.  In order to bid on an item, you will need to show your auction number. We will be announcing this at the auction a few times also to remind people that the process has changed.  AUCTION NUMBER CARDS will be available throughout the event at the membership table.  

Be sure you have your AUCTION NUMBER CARD before the auction begins at 5pm.  Happy bidding!!!

 image1.jpeg Thank You.  M.I.C.S find us on the web www.mudge.ca/mics

MICS receives another generous donation.

A generous donation of equipment and time has been received from the LaBelle family, to add to our comunications solution for MICS. All three of our trucks now have a radio installed which will communicate to all of our handheld radios.   

Our comunications for MICS will always be on channel 1 and all radios are always set to that channel so all that’s needed is to turn the power on, in case of the trucks the power will come on as soon as the vehicle is started. 
At this time I would like to remind everyone that if you are picking up a truck to roll to a situation to please announce over the radio.  “All stations all stations truck 1 (red) truck 2 (yellow) or truck 3 (tanker) rolling to incident “ this will allow anyone with a radio to know the truck is coming.  There is also no reason to not announce it more than once as long as the line is clear.  The radios in the trucks will also allow clear line of comms by sending eta of water shuttles etc etc. 
Thank you to all of Mudge for all of the donations over the years as we continue to maintain and improve our equipment.  

 image1.jpeg Thank You.  M.I.C.S find us on the web www.mudge.ca/mics

Donations for Venessa and family

Can be made at any credit union
account # 797310.

Auction countdown

The countdown is on to this years Fire Fest. 

Hope to see you all next Sunday.

image1.jpeg

     Thank You.  M.I.C.S find us on the web www.mudge.ca/mics

Go fund me campaign for water tank.

Hello Everyone,

Cam Duder has started a go fund me campaign to purchase a collapsable water storage pool for firefighting on Mudge Island. Chip in if you can, every little bit helps.
Thank-you Cam for starting this campaign.

Scott Flemming