James Bay Neighbourhood Association

The focus of the October 2011 meeting of the James Bay Neighbourhood Association (JBNA) was Fisherman's Wharf Marina and Fisherman's Wharf Park.  

Doug DeMarzo, Manager, Parks Planning & Design, presented the final landscape design for the east end of Fisherman's Wharf Park.  The park is to be a 'passive' park with no sports program.  There will be a greenspace for casual sport use (i.e. playing catch or Frisbee).

The new park design features a contemplative garden with benches surrounded by a small treed area, a beach area with sand and logs along the pathway, and a small retaining wall providing a visual marker of the original creek. There will be an herb garden at the south-east corner.

Restoration (day-lighting) of the original stream was not feasible because of problems of water flow and contaminated soil, but a vegetative rain garden in a sunken landscape will provide a natural filtration feature.  Storm water run-off from the surrounding watershed in James Bay will be channeled into the rain garden where it will infiltrate the soil.  Rain gardens delay and filter surface runoff and increase the opportunity for water to infiltrate the ground.

There are no plans to make any further changes to current street parking.

The Engineering Department will consider access to the park via crosswalks.

Site excavation and construction of the wall will begin in November 2011 with completion over the winter.  Project completion is scheduled for Fall 2012.

- DeMarzo also presented drawings of the 5 - 7 meter wide Harbour Pathway segment on Belleville, between Pendray and Oswego.  Work on this project is well underway.

Development Status Report
Fisherman's Wharf

The latter part of the meeting was occupied by a facilitated workshop on the future of Fisherman's Wharf.  The GVHA has hired CitySpaces Consulting Ltd to re-examine the wharf/marina area adjacent to Fisherman's Wharf Park.  Attendees at the October JBNA meeting were invited to participate in a visioning exercise.  Participants were divided into groups and invited to discuss and present their views of current uses and to suggest possible options for the future of the wharf.

There were not a lot of surprises.  All groups seemed to be in agreement on maintaining some mix of the existing water uses and facilities; commercial enterprises, fish boats, float homes.

Additional suggested features included a pedestrian bridge across a conservation area in Heron Bay to join sections of the Harbour Pathway, docking access for non-resident kayacks, and improved bike lock-up.  Some of the cautions included maintaining open water views from both the dock area and the park area above, and restricting access for large 'mega yachts'.

For more information and follow-up: 

Parks & Boulevards:
- The trellised structure at the west end of Goodacre Lake in Beacon Hill Park is being replaced with a new structure slightly further west of the current location. Native and non-native vines will provide colour while Douglas Firs, native deciduous species, and native shrubs will replace invasive species and unhealthy trees/shrubs in the area.

- The City has submitted an application to Canadian Heritage to grant restoration funds to restore Checkers Pavilion in Beacon Hill Park.

- Dallas Road Bluffs: The Consultants' study of this area between Ogden Point and Clover Point has been completed and will be presented to the JBNA early in 2012.  The long term plan which is recommended will see small areas of invasive species gradually removed to reduce the risk of erosion of the cliffs.

Environmental Issues:  
Air Quality - Following completion of the cruise ship season, review of the SO2 data by the Ministry of Environment and Vancouver Island Health Authority for 2011 has begun.  It is anticipated that the verification of data and analysis will be completed in early 2012.  Initial review of wind data confirms that wind patterns were unusual this year.  The JBNA continues to request multiple down-wind monitoring sites.

Float Plane - Air & Noise Pollution
The City Public Hearing on September 22nd saw approval of the zoning to accommodate Harbour Air plans.  The docks, which began as 27 meters about 15 years ago, increased to about 60 meters over the years.  The new expansion will have about 150m of floatplane docking.

GVHA - Working Groups
Noise Study:  JBNA has coordinated three of the four noise monitoring sites to facilitate the project.  The parameters to flesh out the study and the approach to analysis have been discussed in two meetings with GVHA.  Project completion is anticipated in December.

Harbour Pathway: JBNA and GVHA have struck a working group to develop a common approach to Harbour Pathway extension in James Bay.

City Streets - Cruise-Related Traffic Issues:
JBNA and GVHA have struck a working group to examine (a) new data on vehicle traffic counts collected by the City at several locations in James Bay during the second half of August, (b) recent GVHA data on transportation choices made by disembarking passengers, and (c) pedestrian signage.

No JBNA meeting in November!
The JBNA Board hopes that everyone will enjoy the long weekend and reminds neighbours and friends of the Remembrance Day Ceremony at the Cenotaph beginning at 10:30 am on November 11.

Don't Forget the upcoming Municipal Election.
Come and hear the candidates at an all-candidates forum sponsored by the JBNA & JB Community School Society on Tuesday, November 1st, at James Bay School, 140 Oswego Street.  Meet the Candidates - 6 pm,  Forum - 7pm.

Join us on December 14th for our last general meeting of 2011.
The focus of the meeting will be Impacts of Cruise Tourism on James Bay.

The GVHA-JBNA working groups will present new environmental and other impact measures pertaining to noise, traffic volumes, passenger measurements and air quality.

Although the final report from the Ministry of the Environment on air quality will not be completed until spring of 2012, there will be an opportunity to discuss the La Niña winds of 2011 and problems experienced by residents.