Proposed Bylaw For Marine Facilities

The Savary Island Marine Advisory Committee (SIMAC) members have asked that the qathet Regional Board (qRD) consider adopting a bylaw to regulate the use of the three Savary Island marine services facilities: dock; barge site; and parking lot.

The posted rules for commercial and private use of the wharf, i.e. loading times and loading zones, are being ignored by a number of users, limiting access by resident boaters who pay the marine services tax for use of the wharf.

There is currently no legal authority for the qRD to tow boats that are abusing the facility, while boat traffic increases every year.   A bylaw would finally give the wharfinger and qRD staff legal authority to remove or impound vessels that are in violation of the rules of the wharf.

The parking lot up the hill has a number of abandoned and uninsured vehicles currently taking up almost half the parking spots.  The lot was originally purchased and developed to alleviate parking congestion in the wharf area, keeping spots close to the wharf available for day use. To enable the RCMP to ticket and/or tow unlicensed/uninsured or derelict vehicles on Regional District properties, such as the parking lot, a bylaw is required.

Indian Pt Boat Launch

The Indian Point concrete boat ramp is degrading and at some point in the near future it will need significant repairs.  There is no tenure in place, and any works done to the site without tenure would be illegal.  The days are long gone when locals could do work on the shore without approvals or permits.

The intent is that the ramp be maintained to a level that allows for emergency evacuation use as an alternative to the wharf and barge ramp.  No expansion to the ramp or parking area is planned.

SIMAC believes qRD should be responsible for the site and has asked the qRD to look into whether it could acquire tenure from the Province.   The various government bodies in charge of the water, foreshore, and road will have to be consulted.  

The boat ramp site would be a fourth component of Savary marine services.

Wharf Mooring Exclusion Zone

Following up on the concerns of ASIC members and First Responders at the 2018 AGM regarding nighttime emergency boat access to the dock, the qRD has contacted the Canadian Hydrographic Service (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) to get authorization to prohibit anchorage in the area directly in front of the wharf, as it should be kept clear of moorings so that all boats have safe and clear passage to the wharf.

Volunteer Opening On SIMAC

The qathet Regional District (qRD) is seeking one new member for a vacancy on the Savary Island Marine Advisory Committee (SIMAC).  SIMAC advises the Regional Board on marine services management and development, such as the topics reviewed above.  To be a committee member you must own property on Savary Island, be 18 years of age or older, live within the qRD boundaries, and be available to attend regular meetings.

Act quickly if you are interested because the deadline for applications is 4PM Friday January 31, 2020.

For more details go the the qRD website or download the flyer here: SIMAC Volunteer 2020.pdf

Rat Reports Keep Coming In

We have reports of another 17 trapped rats, and 1 dead one in November and December.  They are from the Mace Point area, South Beach, Savary Shores, mid-island, and Sunset Trail.   A live rat was seen skittering across my driveway by the road.   If you have numbers to report it will help us all if we share information about rat numbers and locations.

Drop us an email if the rats are in your neighbourhood:

Roads Are Deteriorating

No surprise there because we’ve had a lot of rain, but let’s hope they remain passable through the winter before the next grading takes place in another 3 or 4 months from now.  There were a couple of 9-1-1 medical calls over the last 2 weeks and it was slow-going in the potholed areas for the First Responders en route to the scene.  The fall grading by Capilano Highways was done with a backhoe, which meant they couldn’t get deep enough to dig out the potholes so the potholes reappeared pretty quickly.  We will request from MOTI that the grading be done by a grader next time.

Lund Parking, Community Hall, and Pedestrian/Bike Corridor

The 3 new ASIC sub-committees that were formed after the AGM have all officially met and discussed their ideas. Each sub-committee has a lot of work to do and we will report on specific plans and goals as they come up.

Opportunities for grant funding will be explored by the sub-committees for the community hall and pedestrian/bike corridor, so they’ll be looking to our local government for advice.

Please drop us a line if you have any thoughts or ideas on these projects. You never know where an idea will lead.

Helicopter Evacuations and Herchmer Road

There have been 6 helicopter medical evacuations on Savary so far this year. This is an unusually high number for the island. Four of those helicopter landings were directed to the southwest Medevac site on Sunset Trail.

The road to get to that Medevac site is along Herchmer Road, between Vancouver Blvd and Sunset Trail. The road has pot-holes as big as ponds in the wet season. There is sometimes so much water that the driver cannot see what might be hidden below the surface that could damage the FR vehicle. A large rock? A large root? So driving speed is limited to a slow crawl. The road conditions are doing two things that are potentially negative to patient outcomes: slowing down the time it takes to get to hospital; and rocking the patient around which is uncomfortable and possibly puts them at more risk.

Obviously, this is counter productive to the need for calling in a helicopter in the first place. It must change.

At the ASIC AGM in July this topic came up, and there was a positive response to the idea that something had to be done, asap. So ASIC is taking preliminary steps to come up with ideas and solutions that we can present to MOTI for their feedback, and to our local government (qRD) for funding and possible project management. So far, we have a great start from Steve Lackey and Marco Rowan, both from Indian Point, because they’ve done an initial plan for the 381-metre section of road. The ideal long-term goal is to upgrade the road so that MOTI will take over maintenance, to make the road safe year-round for emergency access. We do not know if that is feasible due to the MOTI standards for road building that we were given, which exceed anything else done on Savary roads, by quite a bit.

So the choices come down to building to those standards for long-term maintenance or do something simpler in scale, a community option, that will solve the problem for the next 10-15 years, and that Savaryites will have to periodically maintain by ourselves.  It’s too early in the concept stage to decide yet.  In the meantime, if you see some survey stakes along Herchmer in the coming months, they are just an indication of the full 66 ft road allowance so that private property is not touched during the upgrade. It is not the planned road width. The traveled road will remain where it is for most of its length.

Also, to clarify, there is no upgrade planned for any portion of Sunset Trail. The only upgrade being discussed is for Herchmer Road, just the section between Vancouver Blvd and the hill before Sunset Trail.

Patient Transport on Savary is Still a Problem

First Responders have to wait for BCAS Paramedics to be brought to a scene so that they can drive the FR vehicle. Every 9-1-1 call is far longer than it needs to be. This is especially significant when the Paramedics from the helicopter have to be driven to the location of the medical call, just so they can drive the FR vehicle and patient back to the helicopter.

It’s been 3 years since the rules changed around patient transport. The BC government has not given the SIVFD any hope of a coming change. So they are looking to reopen the issue this fall and winter. A number of ASIC members wrote letters a few years ago, and the SIVFD might need your help again to bring this back to the government’s attention.