Arnie Campbell takes a look at the historical addendum to the Otter Point Official Community Plan.

An OCP with an interesting difference

History added to Otter Point Official Community Plan

Official Community Plans are written to be the vision of a community. They present a long tern vision, establish goals and objectives and reflect a community’s values. It’s the foundation on which planning and development rely.

Otter Point’s Official Community Plan is something just a little different. While it contains all of the  usual bylaws, zonings and policies, it also contains an addendum comprised of the history of Otter Point.

Arnie Campbell said when they first began reviewing the OCP, they found the history to be out of date and Juan de Fuca  planner June Klassen approached Campbell about taking on the project of updating the history. Campbell, is the former president of  the Otter Point and Shirley Resident Ratepayers Association (OPSRRA). He enlisted the help of Elida Peers and they began the two year journey.

They put their heads together and started compiling the history of the area and in the process they discovered little bits of history they didn’t know existed.

They talked to people who still remembered the region in their lifetime and as a result a impressive booklet emerged. They scoured the archives at the Sooke Region Museum and they researched facts and fiction.

“They either corrected wrong information or gave us new stuff the museum was unaware of,” said Campbell.

“Did you know that the St. Rose of Lima Catholic Church isn’t the first Catholic church in the area?” asked Campbell.

There was a St. Xavier Catholic Church on the corner of Kemp Lake and Otter Point Roads, kitty-corner to the present firehall. It was there in the 1960s but it never lasted more than a decade.

As the logging industry faded, so did the need for a church. It became a  teacherage and then a private residence.

There was a horse race track on the Poirier Ranch and they found a map from 1894 showing its location.

The man who Kemp Lake is named after was a squatter on Crown land and there was a railway that ran from Tugwell Road to Robinson Road then to Poirier Lake onwards to DeMamiel Creek before it ended at the Sooke River. The railway hauled logs to Cooper Cove.

They also found a company drilled for oil at Muir Creek. They went down 1,200 feet without discovering any crude.

And then there are the accounts of Emily Carr…

Those are just some of the stories and bits of history included in the booklet. The booklet will be presented to those who contributed to it at a small private reception on February 26.

It took two years to complete and it is not a document which will sit on the shelf gathering dust. It is meant to be a document that can be reopened and added to and will be part of the OCP.

Arnie Campbell has written and edited the OPSRRA newsletter for many years and he will now be handing over the task to Marika Nagasaka. He’ll continue to be involved in smaller and smaller ways as he eases himself into some kind of “retirement.”

Just Posted

School strike: SD63 says grade 12 students ‘will not lose their graduation year’

Parents, students concerned about educational impact of CUPE 441 strike

Population growth on West Shore strains wait lists for family services

Funding not keeping pace with demand at Pacific Family Services Association

Cineplex to show free holiday movies to support Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada

Community Day will be on Dec. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m at select theatres

Thousands of cigarette butts collected and recycled from downtown Victoria

Canisters placed throughout the downtown core have made an impact on local litter

Sno’uyutth Day returns, this year celebrated at The Oaks

Songhees’ Florence Dick to speak about reconciliation

WATCH: Sooke’s top stories

A round-up of this week’s top stories

Birthday boy: Pettersson nets 2 as Canucks beat Predators

Vancouver ends four-game winless skid with 5-3 victory over Nashville

Judge rejects Terrace man’s claim that someone else downloaded child porn on his phone

Marcus John Paquette argued that other people had used his phone, including his ex-wife

Petition for free hospital parking presented to MP Jody Wilson-Raybould

What started as a B.C. campaign became a national issue, organizer said

POLL: Do you support CUPE workers in their dispute with School District 63?

SD63 schools to remain closed as strike continues Tuesday

WATCH: Sooke’s top stories

A round-up of this week’s top stories

Petition to ‘bring back Don Cherry’ goes viral after immigrant poppy rant

Cherry was fired from his co-hosting role for the Coach’s Corner segment on Nov. 11.

B.C.’s high gasoline prices still a mystery, Premier John Horgan says

NDP plans legislation this month, seeks action from Justin Trudeau

Group walking on thin ice at B.C. lake sparks warning from RCMP

At least seven people were spotted on Joffre Lakes, although the ice is not thick enough to be walked on

Most Read