Chemainus Residents Association board members. (Photo collage by Craig Spence)

Chemainus Residents Association board members. (Photo collage by Craig Spence)

Newly-elected Residents Association board considers priorities for 2021

North Cowichan’s Official Community Plan review a likely focus

The new board members of the Chemainus Residents Association, elected at the organization’s Jan. 13 annual general meeting, rolled up their sleeves at their first meeting earlier in February, making plans for 2021, which promises to be a challenging and interesting year.

Four members of the board were re-elected and have taken on the following roles: Bernie Jones, chair; Lia Versaevel, vice chair; Craig Spence, communications and Lorraine Taylor, membership and treasurer. Kathy Wachs joins the board as the CRA liaison with other organizations in the community and region.

“In early March, the board will consider goals for the coming year and identify skills needed to pursue those goals,” Jones said. The board also plans to “actively recruit new members,” he added.

A likely focus in 2021 will be the Municipality of North Cowichan’s Official Community Plan review, an update of the document that guides decision-making regarding zoning, building, program budgeting and many other facets of municipal operations.

Affordable housing, air quality, water quality, economic development, cultural and recreational amenities, and adequate policing are just some of the other topics the CRA will be watching closely.

“We follow developments at the Municipality of North Cowichan’s council table, listen to the concerns of residents, share information in meetings through our periodic newsletters, on social media and on our web site,” noted Jones.

Guest speaker for the virtual AGM was North Cowichan’s director of planning and building Rob Conway.

“It went well,” said Conway. “It was on Zoom. They all seemed to be pretty tuned in to using that.”

The Chemainus Revitalization Plan was mentioned as a key part of the community in the future, with the Chemainus Road Corridor Upgrade project finally nearing completion and other parts of unfinished business in that document being of interest.

“It’s almost 10 years old now,” noted Conway. “There’s still things to be done like the waterfront walkway. There’s a lot of projects in that plan.

“We’ll sort of chip away at those things as opportunities and budgets allow. Some of the stuff was even recognized in the plan it was going to take a long time.”

But the eventual walkway construction remains the jewel of the project’s remaining components. “This will be another big game-changer for Chemainus if they can pull that off,” conceded Conway.

The session ended with a question and answer period with the participants.

To find out more about the CRA, and how you can get involved, visit ChemainusResidents.ca.

– craig-spence@shaw.ca, with a file from Don Bodger

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Chemainus Residents Association annual general meeting is Wednesday.

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