By Area B Director Sierra Acton
Our village is the heart of our community. From the many conversations that have been had with businesses, community groups and locals from seniors to youth, one thing is clear; we all want a vibrant, healthy, thriving village. Therefore, with the help of the CVRD and Economic Development Cowichan (and no impact to taxes), the community will be undertaking a design charrette to help guide the future development of the village. The consensus is we want convenience, connectivity, lake access and views and also a strong sense of place. A design charrette creates the blue print that visualizes all these goals and specifically lays out the where, what and how thereby bringing the private and public sectors together. This ensures we get the services, development and recreation we want in our village. It becomes a document that can be used to help get us infrastructure grants, seniors housing, and attract new businesses.
More businesses mean a larger commercial tax base which will help alleviate some of our tax burden since we are so heavily residential in Area B. Attracting new businesses, employment and affordable housing to Shawnigan aligns with our community’s long-term vision of a place where we can live, work and play. The charrette makes it visual and will be owned by the community to help shape the future we want to see. Stay tuned! Everyone is invited to participate.
I’m excited to report that Phase 1 of the Shawnigan Village Rail Trail project is underway and should be complete in about two weeks time. Phase 1 will connect the Community Centre to Government Wharf Park. This initial 300-metre section is the first piece of a project that will provide significant benefit to the greater community of Shawnigan Lake by getting people off the roads and enhancing access to the lake and village.
The Rail Trail project has been in the works since it was first identified in our Community Parks Master Plan back in 2010 and many residents provided feedback and input during the CVRD’s public engagement activities in 2018. If fully built out, the project will create almost 2 kilometres of accessible public trail between Mason’s Beach and Old Mill Park. Eventually it is possible that the trail will even connect to Cobble Hill, the Kinsol Trestle and the Trans Canada Trail.
I look forward to seeing many of you on the trail when it opens later this month!
The community spoke and I listened. Almost everyone I talk to wants to see more for their tax dollars and more funds returning back to the community at a local level. Therefore, in recent planning of the 2019 budget, the Board decided to move the funding from the Shawnigan Basin Society to the Area B grant in Aid to ensure maximum support for local watershed initiatives. I care deeply about the health and viability of our watershed and I believe that these changes will enable us to directly fund watershed initiatives and community groups working on water projects without wasting local tax dollars on overhead and salaries that potentially duplicate the new Regional Watershed function.
Happy to connect Sierra.Acton@cvrd.bc.ca
Important Invite: Emergency Preparedness Presentation by CVRD Safety Division
at next Director’s Meeting Mon. March 4th at 7pm at the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre.