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Council Matters - December 19, 2012
December 21, 2012The issue of a dedicated public road from Genoa Bay Road to Stoney Hill was again the subject of discussion at the December 19 regular council meeting.
During the public input session, several speakers took the opportunity to ask Council to slow the process down and consider the number of people who had signed counter petition forms out of a concern about possible development in the area. Members of Cowichan Tribes asked for consultation about the possible impacts of the road in an area that has historic cultural significance to them.
Others, who have been working with the Municipality to establish a Local Area Service to fund the road improvements, were concerned that any delay would jeopardize the process and emphasized their desire for a safe public road to access their properties.
Despite the concerns raised, there appeared to be agreement that a better road is needed but also that further development was not appropriate for the area.
After considering the public input and debating the issue, Council determined it would postpone decisions on the bylaws until after it received a staff report outlining options to preserve the rural nature of Stoney Hill. It is expected this report will be ready in early 2013.
Council generally agreed that the delay would help them and the general public better understand the whole issue and the implications of improving and dedicating a road to Stoney Hill. As Mayor, I committed to meeting with members of Cowichan Tribes to hear their concerns and to engage in discussion with them.
Early in the new year we will be posting more information so that the general public can use this additional time, before the proposed establishment of a Local Area Service, to inform themselves on this initiative. In the meantime, I am happy to answer your questions by email or telephone.
On another note, I wish to take this opportunity to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.