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General News · 20th September 2012
John Drew
JIMMY SMITH WAY CLOSED
Today the Jimmy Smith Way - the heavily used primary access into Carrington Parks and the rock pit off Whaletown Road - is closed to public access, posted PRIVATE PROPERTY – NO UNAUTHORIZED USE.

This has come to be for three reasons:
- First, the FORESTFEST folks disregarded my request for a liability waiver and then put up a barrier and challenged others right-of-passage - beyond cheeky on a private road.
- Secondly, the Covenant holder has dragged its feet and our Regional Director couldn’t extend grandfathering or provide a variance to keep-alive an in-process subdivision and the private to public transfer of this road.
- Thirdly, encroaching alder is creating a visibility and safety issue and the road surface is deteriorating from heavy use.

The offer on the table for taking care of this matter was a good one; clean and simple. The former in-process subdivision would have me give up the Jimmy Smith Way and take separate title across it (creating two lots: one 100 acres and the other 15) and there was no cash involved. Why was this so difficult?

It seems like my subdivision, which had preliminary layout approval, was being singled out to be blocked. There was nothing heroic here; subdivision is the usual way the Crown acquires public roadway. What was at play when Jenny and her Advisory Planning Committee lobbied to take the right-to-title-across-the-public-roadway out of the Cortes zoning by-laws? Safeguarding forest land is a lame excuse, particularly in this instance.

If zoning were consistently applied, the Jimmy Smith block would be zoned RU-1 and not F1 and we wouldn’t have a problem. The attached map from the Cortes Official Community Plan has all the private blocks to the north of Jimmy Smith zoned RU-1. Even Blue Jay Lake and the private blocks as far north as von Donup are RU-1. Jimmy was homesteading here in 1927 and some on the island still remember his grape arbour and his love of roses. This block is only F1 because, at the time of plan development, it was owned by Weyerhaeuser.

With apologies for the inconvenience, the Jimmy Smith Way is closed to public traffic until further notice. If you have any concerns or questions with regards this matter you might direct them to Craig Anderson, Chair of the Strathcona Regional District (e-mail: dabear10 cablerocket.com) or Brian Reardon, Chief Administrative Officer (e-mail: breardonstrathconard.ca). A polite cc to Noba (e-mail: directorcortesisland.com) would be in order. Without a call for good sense the road may be closed for a while.

John Drew, 765 Whaletown Road