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Archive for November, 2008

Notes from the Chair

 

The official neighbourhood plan is a BIG thing for our neighbourhood and something that we have been advocating for over the past several years.  The decision to proceed reflects our long worked for standing and respect with the city and provides us with a real opportunity to shape the long term future of the neighbourhood.  Aside from the detailed planning involved it also has the potential to strengthen our relationship with city hall and influence the processes that impact us.  The plan will likely take about a year and will involve a fair bit of work.  Hopefully you will all be interested in the process and helping out where possible.

 

We will be voting in our new board at the AGM on December 3.  Anyone interested in standing please let me know in advance (250 754 0677) and I’ll get you on the ballot.  A reminder that anyone standing for office or wishing to vote needs to be a resident of the south end and a member in good standing of SECA for the three months prior to the AGM.

 

My best wishes for all of you as we head into the holiday season!

 

Douglas Hardie

 

 

A Neighbourhood Plan for the South End!

 

Finally it’s a reality. SECA has long been advocating for an official neighbourhood plan and Wednesday, November 19 marked the beginning of an exciting and important chapter for our neighbourhood.  The SECA executive met with representatives from the City Planning Department to begin discussions about how the process will unfold over the next year.

 

The purpose of the neighbourhood plan is to provide residents and businesses with an opportunity to shape the way that we want to see out neighbourhood develop in the future.  The plan deals with all kinds of land use issues, park and recreation amenities and any other important issues that we believe impacts our neighbourhood now and in the future.

 

The goal is to involve as many people as possible in the process so that everyone gets to contribute to the plan.  To that end the Steering Committee in conjunction with various city planners will be hosting a series of open houses and workshops with a goal of inviting participation and informing the neighbourhood about the plan’s progress and development.

 

The planning process is a collaboration between residents and city officials who will guide the process, provide various resources, and ensure that the plan develops in a way that is consistent with the principles outlined in the Official Community Plan.

 

Ultimately our plan will be presented to council for ratification, and should, in theory, guide planning and development in the neighbourhood for years to come.  The plan will allow us to address land use issues such as:

  • the problems associated with locating residential and industrial together

  • the kind of housing density that we might want to encourage

  • the Nicol Street corridor

  • parks and recreation

  • ways that we can address the social issues that are such a concern to all of us.

 

Change is a slow and difficult process but it starts with a vision of where we want to go, an appreciation for our many strengths and resources and a determination to see it through to fruition.  Watch this space for more details!

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Our AGM is on Wednesday December 3.  This is the perfect time to renew your membership (a bargain at $5), and to elect our board for the coming year.  And of course, we normally do a little festive noshing as well.

Bring some nibblies, we’ll socialize and eat at 6 PM, and the meeting will start at 7 PM. We’ve got a full agenda…so much going on right now. And of course, we’ll likely head to the pub after the meeting is over.

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At the Filling Station (the former Jolly Miner), Friday November 28 between 6 and 9 PM. Tickets are $10.00 each.  It’s not a big place, and tickets are selling quickly, so if you want to come for sure, call and get your ticket in advance.

If you can help us out with a donation, we’d be eternally grateful.

  • Don’t limit yourself to the ordinary…at last month’s SECA meeting, the wish list extended from Christmas gifts to all kinds of services and even practical items like loads of gravel.
  • If you don’t have a business, consider something that no longer has personal value, like that wedding gift from your ex-mother-in-law.
  • Consider offering a dinner party for 4 or 6 people.  You’ll be able to brag that people are willing to PAY for your cooking.
  • Or even a personal service that you can provide i.e. some computer coaching, an hour of weed-whacking or oven cleaning (hey, I’d buy BOTH of those.)

You can drop donations off until Wednesday afternoon (Nov 26) at Sandra’s Head-to-Toe Salon, 721 Haliburton Street.

For tickets or more information, please call Sandra Zuccolini at Sandra’s Head-to-Toe Salon 753-1394 or Moni Murray at the Nanaimo International Hostel  753-1188.

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Trashy Art Bin Day

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What a fun day we had on Saturday November 8!  About 50 people turned up over the course of the day to release their inner artist.  Click here for a great review of the day from one of our painters, along with some wonderful photos.

Or here for the write-up in the Nanaimo Daily News (nice photo in print version didn’t make it online.)

We also got a nice article in the News Bulletin.

We’re just in the process of determining where the painted bins will go.  If you would like more information about or are interested in fostering a bin, please call Sandra Zuccolini at 753-1394.

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South End Votes

Our election website, South End Votes, received 4,100 visits over the 4 week period before the local election.  Our goal was to both raise profile for the South End with local politicians and to give neighbours both the information and incentive to get out and vote.  How did we do?  Well, we know from the press received that we DID raise awareness.  Whether we managed to encourage voting is still unclear…the cancellation of the polling station at Bayview School was a disappointment, and we were unable to determine how many voters from the South End actually turned out.

If you want to see how the South End voted (compared to the city as a whole, click here.  You can also read comments.

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Deverill Park Update

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Kirsty MacDonald, Parks and Open Space Planner for City of Nanaimo Parks Recreation and Culture Dept reported in on the playground progress:
…safety surfacing for the playground [was] installed Thursday November 13.  The playground [was] open for play right after that.  We will be back in the park early 2009 to install the spray park and trike trail.

On a related note, we’ve been hoping to create a neighbourhood island at the intersection of Irwin and Milton Streets (where the barricade is). Douglas came up with the brilliant idea of planting a tree there in memory of Gino Sedola.  Kirsty’s response was:

The idea of planting the tree and creating a neighbourhood node of information at the road closure at Irwin and Milton is doable.  We can’t do [a] bench (we no longer have a memorial bench program) but certainly trees, art, and a bulletin board are possibilities.

Engineering is planning utility upgrades along Irwin for 2009 and the node at the road closure and accessible parking for the park along Irwin will be completed then.  So, it would not be an immediate opportunity, but certainly one for next spring or fall.

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