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General News · 21st September 2012
Patricia
Russ Hotsenpiller, Community Services Manager
Strathcona Regional District
via email planningstrathconard.ca

Joy Adams Bauer, Communications Officer
via email jadamsbauervirl.bc.ca

cc: Noba Anderson, director, Cortes Island

Dear Russ Hotsenpiller and Joy Adams Bauer

It has recently come to my attention that a (RFP) for the Cortes Island Library Branch has resulted in only one reply. I understand that as a result, the Linnaea Farm Society proposal is being given serious consideration.

It has also recently come to my attention that BYLAW NO. 139 Cortes Island Official Community Plan Bylaw 2012 will come up for Public Hearing on Saturday, October 6, 2012.

What do these two items have in common? Let me explain.

Bylaw No. 139 offers policy development in a number of areas. One of those areas is "Item 4. Manson's Landing. The OCP introduces preparatory local planning for Manson's Landing as a primary social place on Cortes Island, including an amenity list for future development. Land use planning, waste management planning and environmental protection have been identified as key implementation projects in the future."

To consider a proposal to place the Library on Linnaea Farm property completely disregards the OCP document which is the result of months, if not years of meetings, discussions, arguments, and decisions. The community has designated Manson's Landing as a Primary Social Place on Cortes Island. What we locally refer to as "downtown Manson's" is where you will find two grocery stores, two coffee shops, the post office, the community hall, the liquor store, teen scene headquarters, playschool, farmers' market, and until this year, the library! This location was also within walking distance of both the school and the senior's village. Placing the new library at the community hall (or surrounding area) would be in keeping with the (OCP) designation of Manson's as the Primary Social Place. Placing the library on Linnaea Farm property would not.

Having shops and bank and school and library all within walking distance of each other creates a very desirable "village" feel for these social interactions. I urge the Strathcona Regional District not to make this decision "as quickly as possible" and to consider how the location of a library fits with the community plan, and also to look at how the other community facilities relate to a library. Before the outlay of what I perceive to be major dollars for the VIRL to the parking lot, entrance to the building for wheelchair accessability, and internal structures of the Linnaea building, I would like to see more respect and consideration given to what the community has decided via Bylaw 139. Choosing A new location for a library on Cortes Island should take a long term view at impact and consequences.

I for one, am not pleased with the idea of having the library so far away from the Primary Social Place on Cortes Island. Is it possible to re-post the RFP? Or, could you postpone making a decision until there is time for community input regarding this matter? Let's find a long term solution that fits the wants and needs of the community, for now and for the future. Please.

Yours truly,
Patricia leRoux

Editors note: see http://www.cortesisland.com/tideline/show5323a0x50y1z/Library_at_Linnaea_School for more information
Library for the whole island
Comment by Brigid Weiler on 3rd October 2012
I do think it is important to remember that not everybody on Cortes lives in Manson's, and that Linnaea is actually closer to the rest of us. There are lots of seniors that don't live in the Senior's building, and the use of gasoline to get to the library would be less for some of us. Many people on other parts of the island rarely or never come to the Manson's hall. Just something to the mix.
Library solution?
Comment by June Cameron on 22nd September 2012
So how are school children going to access our library?For that matter, residents of our Seniors village, folks without a car? We need something like a used school portable placed between the hall parking lot and the skateboard facility. The amount spent on driving to Linnea, over time, could pay for such a solution. How about a fund raiser?

Thank you Patricia
Comment by Caz on 22nd September 2012
I just read your letter to the Regional District regarding the Cortes library and totally agree that it should be within walking distance to "Downtown"
Manson's Landing,close to the seniors center,post office etc especially for those that don't drive.
However this is a library for all of Cortes and maybe people in Whaletown and Squirrel Cove feel differently.
I would love to hear more from other folks regarding this issue before it's too late.
Caz.