Letters: Off-roaders still want access

Harbourview access still unavailable to motorized vehicles

With the election drums beating in the distance, people that we organized to vote for Wendal Milne are asking me why nothing has been done about the CRD gate blocking the Harbourview road access to the provincial park and our community lakes.

So far I have been given no explanation that makes any sense, but from appearances the back room staff instruction is to stonewall the issue until it goes away.

The case that it’s a public right of way is based on a simple fact. The “private” road was required to be open to the public by the Forest Act permits under which it was constructed, and that constitutes a common law highway dedication. The legal maxim “once a highway, always a highway,” has been long established in the courts, and to date the road has not been closed by the statutory authority undertaking the proper process.

On December 9, 2013, for the second time, council voted a staff direction to act on the Harbourview road provision of the Official Community Plan. At the February 24 Committee of the Whole, I inquired about progress, and was informed by staff that coincidentally on that very day a staff report had been written to the CAO detailing the CRD’s position, (as if everybody doesn’t already know what that is).

This issue has festered in the community since the 1980’s attempt by the CRD water board to close the road. The legal case is clear, the province wants the road open, and mayor, council, and our Official Community Plan say the DoS wants the road open. CRD-friendly staff might want to throw sand in the gears but the buck stops with the mayor.

Why is the twice voted staff direction to act on the Harbourview Road provision of the Official Community Plan not being acted upon?

Terrance Martin

Sooke

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