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  • Gayle Baker

Special Guest Islands Trustee Peter Grove: Parking, Pathways, and Potholes

October 18:

Five residents came to ASK Salt Spring, all during the time Peter Grove was there. Although no one came to ask questions during the first hour staffed by volunteers, the volunteers, David Norget, Larry Bishop, and Wayne Glover spent the hour getting to know one another and discussing topics as far ranging as mental health, Gary’s Safety initiative, the lack of a refugee support group on Salt Spring, BC Ferries, the need for better, more-accessible mental health services, and the wonderful job Paramedic Chris Griffith is doing in his non-emergency visits to residents. I learned a lot; I hope they did as well.

The five who came to ask Peter questions ranged from the need for chipping services, logging, the danger of the thrifty parking lot, affordable housing, and Bracket Springs to questions about Croftonbrook. All stayed to listen to the questions of others and an interesting conversation developed.

Key issues were:

Thrifty parking lot is extremely dangerous - especially in the tourist season. Too many drive the wrong way! Clear “No entry” signs are needed. Asker met with the owner asking for these signs in May. He seemed supportive, but nothing has happened. She agreed to meet with owner one more time to make sure nothing is underway. If nothing is planned, it was recommended that she take it to Transportation Commission to get their support for clearer signage.

Path at Braehaven - The painting has faded, and it is dangerous for seniors who use it. I have written to Jean asking if this is a task Kirk and his team could complete.

There was a discussion about stopping logging on Salt Spring - and what can and cannot be done. Creating Development Permit Areas seems to be a good local option while the Province considers changing laws.

The Road to Mt. Maxwell is in terrible shape. Is it Trans Ex’s responsibility? Or - as it leads to a Provincial Park - should BC Parks be involved in getting rid of the deep and dangerous potholes? Could Transportation Commission at least post signs warning of the bad road?

There was a lengthy discussion about affordable housing and hope for the future of Bracket Springs as well as a small tiny home community, possibly there. Peter was questioned whether affordable housing is still a priority for Islands Trust. (Peter answered in the affirmative.) Some options were discussed: What about providing some land and letting handy group build their own tiny homes? What about a new Salt Spring branch of Habitat for Humanity?

What are rents at Murakami Gardens and do they follow the limit of being only 25-30% of one’s income? Called 537-4612 and left a message to follow-up. (No reply yet.) Respond to JoAnn Gainor, (250) 931-6830 or (Left message, 10/26). Responded - October 30:

Murikami Gardens - rent: have not gone up for 10 years - Rent includes many extras including garbage recycling, food bank brings food, food is brought in by a non-profit and left in refrigerator in hall, etc.

Studio: $560

1-bd: $667

2-bd: $839

3-bd: $1065

Must have below a certain threshold of income to qualify.

There is not mot much availability

Not simply a space on a waiting list as other factors are taken into consideration. These include:

- Seeking the right fit (a single would not be placed in a three-bedroom),

- Right mix of age groups, including seniors, etc.

- Applicant should be a resident of SSI for a year, but that is not a hard and fast rule if special circumstances - such as family being here - come into play.

The desperate need for better mental health support for discussed, both in the morning among volunteers as well as later when Peter was there. This is a clear gap - even more clearly-defined by the recently-completed Community Health survey. Implications for Safety Initiative funds to fill this gap were discussed.

Getting rid of limbs and other garden waste is very important for fire safety, but it is very hard to do. A community chipping project would be very helpful, especially for those living near Ganges with properties too small to burn. Getting rid of limbs and other garden waste is very important for fire safety, but it is very hard to do. A community chipping project would be very helpful, especially for those living near Ganges with properties too small to burn. I promised to talk with Mitchell Sherrin. After talking with Mitchell, burning is not only bad for our environment, but burning regulations are getting more and restrictive - with predictions that burning may soon become illegal on Salt Spring. Some communities got together to hire a chipper and were very pleased with the result as well as the costs when multiple neighbours were involved. Some communities use a Salt Spring Island Foundation Neighbourhood grant to get this done. Blackburn would consider offering it, but noise restrictions has made this impossible. This regulatory hurdle may be something to address as burning gets more and more restrictive.

Questions about mediation. Why is there no free mediation option available for residents who need a safe place to resolve issues?

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