Residents give Peninsula Streams the cold shoulder

Meetings over plans for Chalet Creek and Gardner’s Pond go unattended, despite residents’ ire

After almost no one showed up to two planned meetings to share information with neighbours of Gardner’s Pond in North Saanich, the Peninsula Streams Society hopes the third time’s the charm at another gathering in September.

Ian Bruce, the society’s executive co-ordinator, says Peninsula Streams volunteers tried to go door-to-door at Mulberry Place with invitations to one of two meetings set up July 4 or July 9. The society had hoped to speak with residents about plans for the pond, including a berm or boardwalk, and nearby Chalet Creek.

Bruce said no one showed up at the July 4 meeting, and only one couple from Maple Street turned out on July 9.

“I was disappointed no one came out for this,” Bruce said.

Residents appeared last month at North Saanich district council meetings, expressing anger and concern over those plans, vowing to stop them and pressure council to act on their wishes. They have said they’re worried any changes to the pond itself could impact their property. A spokesperson for the residents did not return News Review calls by deadline.

North Saanich council and staff have said there are no applications for any work before the municipality. They have also asked Peninsula Streams not to proceed with any plans for the area until they have consulted with the residents.

That is what Peninsula Streams has been trying to do ever since, Bruce said, adding they haven’t had a significant response and their attempts at communicating with residents have been rebuffed at every turn.

“We are ready to provide information at any time,” Bruce said. “It was unfortunate that no one showed up (at the meetings) but they can call us at any time.”

He’s not giving up on meeting with people, however. Bruce said there will be a meeting on Tuesday, September 10 for people who live in the Chalet Creek watershed — that’s in the area of Tatlow Road. The location is to be determined, but the time will be 7 to 9 p.m. Bruce said Peninsula Streams will advertise it and send mail outs to households in the area, inviting residents to the meetings.

There are no plans for any work in the Gardner’s Pond area this summer, Bruce said.

He added Peninsula Streams does not have any applications for work before the district and no reason to speak with council at this time. He encourages anyone with questions about their creek and pond restoration plans to contact Peninsula Streams (www.peninsulastreams.ca or 250-363-6596).