Filed for publication with the Mirror
Dear Brenda Leigh,
Your recent Area D community meeting, attended by a large proportion of residents, provoked me into considering the various problems facing Area D.
I believe the following questions need to be asked and addressed:
Firstly – is there a problem with some of the residents’ septic fields in the area? The answer would seem to be that a small minority of the residents definitely have a problem. My question is this: If a health risk specific to a failing septic system is identified why doesn’t the Regional District
a) insist that it is fixed immediately (thus solving any health problems) and
b) enable this by funding the repairs and placing a lien on the said resident’s property which the owner can remove as they can afford?
This is common practice in many communities and in most cases would still be cheaper (financially and politically) than the long term costs of a sewer system.
Secondly – Why is the City of Campbell River planning to put sewers into large unserviced lots, if the need is to address some failing septic systems in Area D, and charging “phase 1 & 2” residents to do so? It is unconscionable to provide for future development at the expense of existing residents.
Thirdly – There is no doubt the city needs to increase its tax base, but should it have the right to hold piecemeal elections in an area outside of its control in order to divide and take over the area piece by piece as it suits them? And this with no guarantee that the majority of homeowners will see any improvements in their lifetimes?
At your meeting that night when you asked how many people wished to be taken over by the city, not one person put up their hand. The people of this area moved here precisely because they wish to embrace the rural lifestyle. Our community plan developed in close consultation with the residents specifies our wishes for no high density housing developments in Area D.
Is the nature of our area to be permanently changed by the needs of a few residents who should be taking responsibility for their own properties?
I humbly suggest that this proposed annexation would be a highly undemocratic and contrived answer to what appears to be an ill-defined and patchy public health problem.