Newsletter

Saturday, February 6, 2021 1:30 PM

Newsletter January 2021

Though we may not be seeing you in person, we are still here. Though the GHRA board has not been able to meet together for some months, we continue to have meetings by Zoom, and to address issues of importance to you and to all of Gordon Head.

As all of you know if you have walked or driven in Gordon Head, developers continue to propose changes for the area, most of them for densification that ranges from lot subdivisions to large apartment, townhouse and commercial projects. Your association investigates each proposal and ensures that neighbouring residents have the opportunity to make their views known.

On our agenda over the past few months:

Development Proposals:

  • A Zoom meeting with representatives from Abstract Development on their relations with the community in general and the proposed 99-unit development at Feltham and Gordon Head. They presented no new proposals but asked what the community would support in that space. We have encouraged them to contact residents in that area for additional concrete suggestions. We, too, will be communicating with residents to garner their ideas.
  • We delivered responses to Saanich planning on proposed developments on Mileva Lane, Barrie Road and other sites. Those responses can be found on our website.
  • Although they are not in Gordon Head, they are close by and will have impact on us, so developers provided information on proposals for the site at 1555 McKenzie (SW corner of Shelbourne and McKenzie) and for the site opposite it (the former Shell station)
  • Your Board had preliminary discussions with the new owners of the former Gordon Head United Church site on Tyndall Avenue. The developers then held a Zoom Meeting on January 27 to give neighbours an opportunity to give their ideas on redevelopment of this significant property. The GHRA will be keeping you informed as plans for this site go ahead.

Traffic and parking

These are always a major concern for us and for Gordon Head residents. Over the past few months, we have discussed the Edgelow Road redesign, continuing concerns over Ash Road, and other traffic/parking problems brought to us by Gordon Head residents.

We have sent a letter to Saanich outlining our major concerns over environmental issues in the area. In it, we present examples of what we consider over-paving of residential lots, and the accompanying drainage problems that affect not only residential areas but also Douglas Creek.

Communication:

The GHRA would like to develop new and better methods of communicating with Gordon Head residents. A new website will come online in February. We would also like to have a much stronger social media presence and are looking for someone with interest and expertise who can help us with that: if that intrigues you, please contact us at contact@gordonhead.ca A representative from the UVic Student Society who is a Gordon Head resident attended our most recent board meeting, the result of outreach on both sides, and we hope to continue to discuss mutual concerns.

Membership:

 Please consider becoming a sustaining member of our Community Association. A larger membership gives us a stronger voice when we act as representatives of our community with Saanich Council, municipal officials and property developers. Annual dues of $10 are payable in January of each year.

  • The easiest way to pay is by PayPal, either from our website: https://www.gordonhead.ca or directly from your PayPal account.
  • If you wish to send a money transfer, send us an email at: contact@gordonhead.ca and we will send you the necessary information.
  • Cheques may be sent to: GHRA ℅ Goward House 2495 Arbutus Rd. Victoria BC V8N 1V9

Our Mandate:

With Gordon Head facing major changes and expected densification over the next few years, the board is looking at our mandate and our strategy for the future. We plan to examine, as always, how we might better serve the residents of the area and how we might better engage them. A major concern for us is Saanich’s reluctance to update our Local Area Plan and our concern that the municipality intends to dispense with such plans. This work is ongoing, but we plan to have a major strategy session once we can meet in person.

The Annual General Meeting:

With COVID protocols making in-person meetings impossible, we have postponed our Annual General Meeting in accordance with provincial policy) and are now projecting a meeting in the early fall. This does not mean we don’t want to hear from you. We do: without your input, our job becomes much more difficult. Please contact us by email or through our Facebook page.

In Memoriam – Barbara Tabata:

Sadly, one of our most energetic and effective long-time board members died in December. We want to acknowledge the work that Barbara Tabata put in on behalf of all of Gordon Head. We will miss her. From her obituary:

Until her passing, Barbara was a pillar of the Gordon Head Residents' Association. For over 20 years she tirelessly held the traffic portfolio. She is known to a succession of Saanich engineers and any development in Gordon Head in the last two decades has had her scrutiny for its effect on traffic & safety. Her dedicated service was always with presented with gentle tenacity and concern for the safety of the residents of Gordon Head.