The JDF Development Hearing

So, I attended the meeting last night.  It was second night of the planned two night meeting.  I eventually figured that the second night may need more people than the first, which had all the hype and publicity.  I was also watching the swell in the strait and, well, a surfer is a surfer no matter what.  Turns out the waves were pretty good, but that’s another matter.

The meeting was a hearing for the committee assigned to review the bylaws which pertain to the zoning change requested by the developer.  If the zoning doesn’t change, then there can be no resort.  People were given a chance to speak with 5 minutes allotted and the only restriction being to keep it civil. No name calling, no slander, no pointing fingers. It is Canada after all.

The result was a series of beautiful expositions on what that area means to all of the people of the community.  Basically, it was a great outpouring of love for the space and desire to see it protected somehow, or at least prevented from becoming host to an unneeded development.  I’ve never seen so many people express an identity with land in a vocal way like that and it was heartening to witness.

Although I was tempted to flee the meeting to try to get waves while there was light and tide, I chose to stay and speak.  My main focus was that the land is a common good and it’s condition directly affects the experience visitors of the Juan de Fuca park will have. If the forest is altered, or homes established, or noise created, then the thousands of hikers who use the trail will have their experience diminished.

The meeting ended with more people on the speaker list than there was time for.  This requires another meeting because these proceedings have to allow anyone willing to express an opinion time to state that opinion.  So, a third meeting is being held at this moment. Although the arguments against the resort are clear, the decision is up to the mayors of 5 districts many of whom are pro development.  There was murmuring of monkey wrenching, or civil disobedience, and other more extreme measures should the greenlight be granted.  Count me in.

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