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Area D residents pack distillery, discuss annexation

Dispersed among the gleaming copper caldrons of the Shelter Point Distillery, the Area D Resident and Ratepayers Association held its inaugural meeting as a formally incorporated society.

The organizers, who had expected a modest turnout, were overwhelmed with the number of new members who attended.

“Last month, ADRRA (Area D Resident and Ratepayers Association) had about 75 members but tonight about 60 more joined our group for a total of 135,” said Bob Solc, vice-chair of the association and retired engineer. “These results are clear evidence for the need to have a group like ADRRA which represents the interests and concerns of all the residents of Area D but without the politics.”

The first major topic of discussion was a proposal to request that the Strathcona Regional District planning department postpone any further work on the Area D official community plan until after the result of a public referendum on the annexation of a large northern section of Area D by the City of Campbell River is known.

“How can we formulate an official plan for our community when we simply don’t know what exact community we are planning for?” said Rod Nugent, chair of the association.

The motion to request a delay in the community plan passed with almost unanimous support.

The majority of the evening was spent discussing the issues related to Campbell River’s offer to annex the portion of Area D south from Jubilee Parkway to the southern road extensions off McGimpsey Road for the purpose of replacing individual septic systems, many of which are failing, with direct sewer connections to the Campbell River sewer system.

Ron Todd, Chairman of the association’s sub-committee responsible for researching the boundary extension and sewer proposal, presented a review of a recently released 100-page Phase 1 and 2 Boundary Extension Study commissioned by Campbell River city council.

The purpose of the study was to investigate the financial impact of the boundary extension and sewer services.

“More information is expected from the city when the final report is received in February,” Todd said.

“All the affected residents will need to make their own decisions on what is best for them. ADRRA’s job is to analyze and present the facts so that when the referendum to join the city happens, the affected property owners from Jubilee Parkway south to McGimpsey Road have accurate information.”

After the meeting was over, chairman Nugent offered his final thoughts on the night.

“Building a non-political community organization like ADRRA is really a lot like making single malt whisky,” Nugent said.

“You start with the best ingredients you can find, put them in big pots and turn on the heat. Then there’s the malting, mashing, fermentation and distillation. Our pots are heating up and tonight there was certainly a lot of malting and mashing. And the step I’m really looking forward to is the distillation. But I sure hope it doesn’t take 12 years to see the results.”

The next Area D Ratepayers meeting is set for Wednesday, March 19.

Membership is still available by e-mail: adrrassoc@gmail.com

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