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1984

GULF ISLANDS DRIFTWOOD | WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2010 | C29

1984 | 50 YEARS OF COMMUNITY

Hank Schubart was an architect, activist and visonary involved in many different groups and associations during his time on Salt Spring. He died in 1997. Following is an article from the April 18, 1984 edition, in which Schubart talks about island planning.

TOP STORIES The year 1984 kicked off with big changes announced by B.C. Ferry Corporation. A new fare of $5.25 for a vehicle and driver would have to be paid at both ends of Salt Spring-Vancouver Island routes. To counter the increase in rates, the corporation re-introduced commuter tickets. However, the new policy of collecting fares at both ends of the route caused ferry delays.

Salt Spring entering phase of rapid growth, says Hank Schubart A problem which must be addressed in the Salt Spring community plan is lack of affordable commercial space, Hank Schubart told a meeting of island residents last week. The Salt Spring Planning Association called the meeting to determine opinion on the community plan. The island is entering another phase of rapid growth, he said, and that growth challenges the community plan to ensure that something of what the island currently is remains after the growth peaks. The plan, as good as it is, is lacking in certain areas, he noted, and pointed to water resource management as a shortcoming. The plan is also silent on how islanders can make a living on the island, he said. The plan does not deal with destiny, and the population of the island has been estimated to grow to 15,000. But, said Schubart, the population has increased at a greater rate than anticipated. He said that seasonal cottages and basement apartments are being rented which has added to the growth figures. With the growth, traffic in Ganges will become unmanageable. But he said that the community could handle the increase in traffic and lack of parking space in the village. “Just let it get all glugged up, and people won’t come.” A way around congestion in Ganges is to create two or three “satellite towns,” he said. But the solution will cause more debate. The controversy will come, he said, because “this is one of the feistiest communities I’ve ever been in.” But he added, that’s a healthy sign. With other centers for commercial activities, e limitations of space would also be solved, he

suggested. Currently, the major share of commercial space on the island is located in Ganges. And the rents are expensive, he noted. “We have to deal with reconsidering the whole nature of planning on the island,” he said. The choice as he sees it is to deal with planning or “let history take its course.” In the same view, Schubart said that the Ganges plan has to be dealt with at the same time as the island plan. The Ganges plan is going to be controversial but it has to be looked at. “You can’t consider the body without the heart,” he said. The concept of cluster development should be looked at, he said. But the North Salt Spring Water District urges a retention of the existing pattern of growth. The board of directors has based expansion plans on that pattern and if changes are too radical, growth on the island could become expensive when the water lines have to be rerouted. Cluster development would include a twist in the current development plans. To ensure that the clusters were of sufficient density so as not to spill over, the sale of development right would be introduced. Under such a scheme, if a developer asked for more development that was allowable on a property, the second person might not want to subdivide the property density to the first person. A covenant or restriction be placed on the second property and the first property would be allowed to be developed to the combined density. Schubart explained that it would than become a case of moving the density from one section of the island to another.

While a U.S. Air Force B-52 bomber carried a cruise missile over Canadian soil in a test run, about 50 Salt Spring Islanders carried their own cruise missile through Ganges. Seen here, Biz Whitby (far left) leads the way as the missile — made by Ray and Beth Hill — is laid to rest in Centennial Park.

The Salt Spring Transportation Committee was seeking legal action against the ferry corporation. The suit would be based on the contention that ferries for the Gulf Islands were the same as the highways system was for the mainland. The Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing decided the Saturday Farmers’ Market in Ganges could stay, but mid-week vendors would have to find another place to sell their wares. Defeated CRD director Yvette Valcourt appealed successfully to the B.C. Supreme Court to have the CRD executive director check the names signed in poll books against names on the voters’ list. Valcourt had already challenged the results of the election — in which she was beaten by Hugh Borsman — but the margin of votes did not change. Her new allegation charged that some people had voted twice. (Ultimately, she was proven wrong.) The Gulf Islands School District was considering daily water taxi service for students from the outer Gulf Islands who were in high school on Salt Spring. Students from some islands currently commuted every day, others (especially those from Saturna) boarded in homes on Salt Spring during the school week, returning on weekends. Some 55 students graduated from Gulf Islands Secondary School in the Class of 1984. Graham Lee was valedictorian. A railway linking Vesuvius and Fulford was under consideration by a group of island entrepreneurs, which was apparently ready to begin construction. A public meeting learned of a proposal to develop 1,433 acres of land on north Salt Spring between St. Mary Lake and Sunset Drive. The developers told the meeting that when fully developed, the plan (Channel Ridge) called for 394 lots and a potential population of 1,265 people. The CRD passed a bylaw to control smoking in public places. People who lit up where “nosmoking” signs were posted could face fines of $25 to $500. However, the local RCMP said they would not enforce the bylaw, and the CRD also said it wouldn’t enforce it. Signs for no-smoking areas were available and the public was expected to cooperate with the spirit of the bylaw. Tom and Pat Wilson of Quadra Island were the winners of Twilight Island in Ganges Harbour. Islands 86 had set up a lottery with Twilight Island as first prize as a way of funding promotion of the islands during Expo 86.

There was no other reporter like Bill Webster, who was hired and fired twice by the Driftwood, and loved to write a column.

A meeting of Fulford residents attracted 125 people to discuss a proposed community plan for the area. The message quickly became clear: the people of Fulford did not want a community plan.

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS... “The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact, that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely diºerent”. - ALDOUS HUXLEY

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