Forbidden Plateau Road Association
PLATEAU ROAD RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION

AGM & BBQ

Was a very successful gathering of around 40 residents and children.  Thank you very much to everyone who participated and a HUGE Thank you to those residents who have volunteered to be on the Executive Team. 
BC Hydro - Puntledge River System

UPDATE:   The meeting was very well attended with 5 Officers for BC Hydro, a few CVRD folk, 2 members of the PRRA & about 30 residents form the road.  We're awaiting an update from MOTi & BC Hydro now as they have been asked to effectively go back to the drawing board.
We will update you as soon as we know anything.

BC Hydro recently made the PRRA aware that they are upgrading the siren & water gauges along the river to direct the audible warning to people in the Park rather than most of the folks living on the road, 10kms away!
They made a presentation to the City of Courtenay & to CVRD back in the Fall (attached x2 ) and have advised that the siren will be tested around June time / early Fall and will be modified throughout the year.

BC Hydro are also erecting a 45 metre repeater station further up the hill.  However, naturally, there is quite a lot of opposition to this and residents have requested a meeting with the relevant parties to discuss whether or not this can be located elsewhere. 
That meeting is scheduled for:  7pm, Monday 11th April  @CVRD boardroom, 550 Comox Rd, Courtenay.    Area C Councillor Edwin Grieve has agreed to attend as has BC Hydro representative, Stephen Watson.  MLA Don McRae has been invited as has the Ministry of Transportation, who owns the land.

For any residents concerned about any of this, please contact any member of the PRRA or BC Hydro direct.  Two members of the PRRA will be attending the meeting to ensure all residents of the road are represented.  
Road Speed Sign
Residents & visitors to the road will now be greeted by a new speed sign just as they enter the road.  This was purchased with funds annually available to the PRRA from CVRD as the residents in that particular area noticed how crazy & how fast some vehicles were driving into the road.  Sometimes we just don't realise how fast we are actually going & this signage is a positive way of making you slow down just a little.  Data is recorded on the machine and when we have enough data to show just how many vehicles are driving above the speed limit of 60 kmh, the RCMP will be asked to enforce the limit on occasions.
Visitors to Nymph Falls Park:  whether walking, running or cycling,  will now notice some new signs in 3 locations making everyone aware that the park does allow unleashed dogs.  Dogs are still asked to keep their owners under control please & pick up after them on all occasions.   CVRD bylaw 2027.
Coal Licences & Forbidden Plateau Road

Residents were recently invited to hear John Snyder of CoalWatch CV Society www.coalwatch.ca  give a short but superb presentation in respect of the flurry of activity from various firms who have submitted applications to apply for coal licences in the area.   John explained that the current application for #417603 (on the map below: Forbidden Plateau Rd & Coal Licence - left hand block) is from Compliance Coal and from previous exploration studies completed in the 1970's, 1.7million tonnes of coal is thought to be accessible in that particular area.  However,  it was found that the mined coal had too much ash & sulphur to be of any use before being processed.  However, if processed 'in situ' then approx. 56% of the excess processed would be left behind as wasteless residue, more commonly known as 'slag heaps'.  These slag heaps would result in more acid into the surrounding earth, which would mean more acid into the water system - YOUR water system plus the health hazards associated with this sulphur evaporating into the air.

Just as concerning was the fact that John had found that another four coal licences had been applied for, with one of them #418348 (bottom right block on map) located directly underneath all of the properties and surrounding land on Forbidden Plateau Rd.  So every property that has their water either coming from the Brown's river, aquifers and wells, in other words - every single one of us - would be affected.
Feisa Resources Canada and Golden River Resources Inc. have submitted applications for various areas throughout the Comox Valley but the one directly below your home right now, is from Feisa Resources Canada.

The Residents Association has already mailed a letter to the Gold Commissioner asking for him to not issue these licences, but more support and action is required from residents and like minded citizens of the Comox Valley to put a stop to this now.  We encourage you to alert every Councillor, MLA & MP of your concerns as a matter of urgency.  If you wish to, please write to the Gold Commissioner:

Chief Gold Commissioner

PO 9322 Stn. Provincial Government

Victoria, BC

V8W 9N3
Compliance Coal & Forbidden Plateau

Residents might have read notices in the local newspapers over the past 2 weeks advising that Compliance Coal have made an application for a licence to explore about 1,672 hectares of under surface coal resources near Anderson Lake, above Forbidden Plateau north of Comox Lake.  Compliance Coal have stated since that they have no intention to proceed with the licence but like every other CV resident, we're all intrigued to know why they would apply for the licence if they don't intend to use it!
On Tues 25th June 2013, David Stapley, President of CoalWatch Comox Valley:  http://www.coalwatch.ca      attended the CVRD board meeting and requested the CVRD alter their previous letter to the chief inspector of mines and use this early opportunity to categorically say a huge resounding 'NO', to any mine exploration within the Comox Valley.  
Wayne White of the Tsolum River Restoration Society also asked the board to oppose the application.
"My feeling is the Comox Valley can grow without coal," said Area A director Bruce Jolliffe, noting the granting of coal licences is a discretionary practice, as per the gold commissioner.   He called for an amended letter requesting no licence be issued due to concern that coal mine exploration, and further exploration, impacts existing industries.   His motion was passed & attached is the subsequent letter with maps of the affected areas.

For residents interested in hearing further about this issue, the PRRA have requested John Snyder from CoalWatch CV to attend a Q&A session in July, which would be open to all residents of the road.   The map below shows Forbidden Plateau Road is in the new coal license tenure area.

Re:  Project Activities for 2013

The Plateau Road Residents Association (PRRA) is a non-profit society.  An executive committee of resident volunteers liaise with other agencies and organizations to the benefit of the local community.  We have participated with the Comox Valley Regional District and Wildfire Management Branch to undertake a few projects planned for this year.

The projects and potential activity dates are as follows:

  1. Parking lot Expansion at Nymph Falls Park (added 10 – 15 spots) – Sept/Oct  (supporting pdf proposal attached)  New Board voted to not go ahead with this idea & proposed alternatives that are being duscussed
  2. Picnic Table Puntledge River Nymph Falls Park    Completed
  3. Fire Smart Park, wildfire prevention treatment – asking CVRD to extend to 2014
  4. Trail Expansion Nymph Falls Park – June/
  5. Regular Park Maintenance – Jan to Dec


Should you have any questions about this project you can contact any member of your Volunteer executive. 

Parking Lot Expansion proposal pdf below:
Document
High Speed Internet Service - 2013 Update 
The PRRA board met with representatives from Telus in November 2012 to discuss the possibility of providing broadband internet coverage to Forbidden Plateau Rd.
Telus advised that it would be a challenge to provide the service as the cost for our low density area equates to many more properties in an urban area.  Telus further advised that they would expect 70% of the road's residents to pay a substantial fee before they would commit to installing the fibre optic cable to the road.
In the 2012 newsletter that was posted to all properties on the road, residents interested in pursuing this option were asked to contact the secretary, Steve Allen. Less than a dozen residents did contact Steve so it was concluded at the next meeting that there would not be enough interest to consider going further with this suggestion.     We tried!

CVRD announces extension to Nymph Falls Park
The park extension is 5.5 hectares in size and includes an existing 435 metre trail that runs along the Puntledge River and is used by pedestrians and mountain bikers.
The newly acquired parkland connects to trails within Nymph Falls and also to trails on Crown land to the west.   The CVRD is seeking a permit from the Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resources Operation to operate and maintain the trails on the Crown land.

Dog Licensing

Do you have your dog license yet?  As per the Comox Valley Regional Districts mandate for all dogs over six months of age you need to license your dog each year.  This rule applies to Forbidden Plateau Road as well. The license fee for a dog that is spayed or neutered is $5.00 or not spayed or neutered is $15.00 per dog. You can purchase your license at the Comox Valley Regional District or the Courtenay SPCA.

BC Hydro – New River Siren Warning Improvements

The past president of our association, John King, had some feedback from Stephen Watson who is the Community Relations representative from BC Hydro last week on the siren issue.  The review what improvements have already been made to the system and what improvements are still to come.  We thought that we would pass on the gist of this conversation to the residents.

 

The new system has been modified from the original high pitched wailing sound to instead mimic the previous air raid sound, though in shorter duration, followed by the voice message danger, river levels rising repeated three times. The siren directions have been refined to face upstream and downstream, and the sound decibel has been reduced by about half over the original default settings in June 2008.

BC Hydro has made the following changes and improvements that will also significantly reduce the number of times the warning system will be activated over the year.

  • In 2008, it was discovered there was a river height threshold flaw in the warning system, which triggers the sirens to activate. The threshold was too low or sensitive, and was even activating at night. This has been fixed.
  • The warning system threshold has been further adjusted so that it does not activate under high river flow conditions.
  • The time of activation has been modified.  The sirens were not to operate between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am year round.  BC Hydro has added a winter season so that the sirens do not initiate between 9:00pm and 7:00am and in the summer between 11:00 pm and 6:00am.
  • BC Hydro will continue to ramp up river flows at night, which is the time when people are not in the river, and when the sirens are disengaged.
  • The warning system will be disengaged during the planned kayak event, given all the public safety notification and signage prior to the event. This worked well for the 2009 event.
  • The daily noon system tests will end as they are no longer needed. 
  • The only time the warning system will operate at night is if there is a forced station outage and the almost 30 cubic metres per second of water that travels down the pipeline is suddenly re-directed down the river below the Puntledge Diversion Dam. This is a very rare occurrence.


As we committed in 2008, BC Hydro will meet with representatives of the residents association to illustrate the new system before it is finally commissioned and operational. They expect that these changes will be implemented in the upcoming months. 

The above PDF file is a Map of the woodlot kindly provided by Mike Larock.  If you would like further information please contact Mike at 250-897-8375