Land-ing In Brinkworthy - Alcyonenews

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Posted December 13, 2015

Land-ing In Brinkworthy

The Trust’s Agricultural Advisory Planning Commission (“AAPC” ) convened in the Baptist Church – Lower  Hall, 520 Lower Ganges Road. It was their last meeting for the year and the main purpose was to consider the SSI LTC referral from the LTC of November 19, the previous, to wit:  

“SS-ALR-2015.2 – Capital Regional District – 181 Brinkworthy Road – Agricultural Land Reserve Application for Public Recreation Playing Fields  – Staff Report.”

The AAPC members heard from Trust Planner Seth Wright and from Dan Ovington, Manager PARC, SSI.   The members of the AAPC  Commission  posed well-thought out questions, Thus the AAPC established a base for a fair decision.

The decision they thus arrived at was, of course,  to tell the LTC to kill the stupid thing. In no uncertain terms. In their words:

“It was MOVED and SECONDED, that the Salt Spring Island Agricultural Advisory Planning Commission strongly recommend that the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Committee does not forward application SS-ALR-2015.2 (181 Brinkworthy Road) to the Agricultural Land Commission and recommend strengthening farmland protection on Salt Spring Island.


The AAPC meeting was well attended and I was there too. When the AAPC voted on it the members of the public in attendance erupted into a loud spontaneous applause, fully deserved by the AAPC. It was a great moment for “grass roots” democracy ...

As I usually do, I brought to the LTC my views in a special edition of the Placard:

Tom’s Town Hall Placard

Tom Varzeliotis

December 3,  2015

The Agricultural Advisory Planning Commission

The PARC Application to build Playing Fields

at 181 Brinkworthy, SSI

Twice, on October 1, and on October  22, the SSI LTC went behind closed doors to process an un-identified application with  the excuse that processing it in the open would “harm the interests of the community”.   It turned out that the under-wraps application was “Brinkworthy”; the perceived “threat” was that the people of SSI would halt  PARC’s  attempt to build a sports complex at Brinkworthy, as had done in PARC’s  previous attempt to build that Sports Complex on Furness Road at the South end of the Island.

PARC and Trust fearing  the people is real but illegitimate. Fear of the people is not a legitimate cause for moving a government to a dungeon – at least it is not in Canada.

Eventually, on November 19, the LTC came into the open with “Brinkworthy”. But the Staff put before them an “Answer without a Question”, i.e, the “Trust Staff Report” without the “PARC Application”, which is a “No-No”. Yet, the LTC, for reasons hard to fathom, forwarded the lame file  to the AAPC.

Efforts to obtain the PARC Application  met refusals by PARC and a demand  for a formal FOI application for them to consider in releasing the Application, both being  unjustified. However, a FOI application was filed on November 18 and sits with PARC pending their “consideration” ...

The PARC Application was also denied to the public by the Trust with the contention that it is “classified” due to the Privacy Protection Act!  Characteristically, this happened after the Trust had recognized the impropriety of pushing a phantom application, and Staff had tried to dispel the concerns by pointing to quotes they had inserted from the PARC Application in the Trust Staff  Report.  The problem is the universal disdain for “quoting out of context” ...

In a word the Staff Report doesn’t cut the mustard . The “why it doesn’t” are serious and  may be fatal to the Report by themselves. Here are few shortcomings:

*  The “reasoning” presented runs shallow and cannot float the “recommendation”

* Essential facts are missed or ignored.

* Contains no reference to  PARC previous attempt to build these  Paying fields at at Furness Road.

* Contains no review of the 2010 Trust Staff Report on the PARC Application to build said playing fields on Furness.

*  Common Law (“case law”, “precedent law”) requires reconciliation of the Brinkworthy with the Furness Staff Reports. These, as they stand, clash,  and Brinkworthy Report would not likely survive evaluation  in the framework established by the Furness Staff Report.

The above  leads to a request to AAPC to advise the LTC to dump the PARC attempt to push onto the “Many of Brinkworthy” that the “Few of Furness” repelled; and to save the prime 15 acres of agricultural land in the cause of locally grown crisp veggies.

A comprehensive presentation sustaining my recommendation is forthcoming on my website – Please read it.

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Varzeliotis

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