Sproat Lake Community Newsletter

Summer 2021

Take the Zoning Bylaw Review Survey by August 31

As of June 2021, the ACRD completed updates to the draft Zoning Bylaw for the entire Regional District and all six Electoral Area Official Community Plans (OCPs), including the Sproat Lake OCP. Proposed updates also include improved zoning and OCP map books. Please see the updated draft documents, including those summarizing the proposed zoning and OCP updates and have your say in an online survey (to be completed by August 31, 2021) by visiting www.acrd.bc.ca/zbreview. Contact the ACRD Planning Department for help with completing the online survey, to request a paper version of the survey, or for any comments or questions: planning@acrd.bc.ca, 250-720-2700 or in- person at the ACRD office.

Sproat Lake Housing Needs Report

The ACRD is developing 10 Housing Needs Reports (HNR), and an overall regional summary report for the six ACRD Electoral Areas (EAs), and four Maa-nulth Treaty First Nations;  Huu-ayaht First Nations, Yuułuʔiłʔatḥ Government, Uchucklesaht Tribe Government, and Toquaht Nation. The Sproat Lake HNR is currently being drafted based on various data sources and community engagement completed for the four Alberni Valley EAs. The HNR is anticipated to be presented to the Regional Board in Fall 2021. More information is available at www.acrd.bc.ca/avhousingneeds

Dog Mountain Slides

Notice to all boaters, to be cautious along the Dog Mountain shoreline due to debris falling along the Taylor Arm steep rock bluff terrain this summer. Since the fire July 4th, 2015 there have been many slides witnessed along this area. It is hard to say without an assessment whether more will come down in the rainy season. If thermal expansion has produced cracks in the rock, then freeze/thaw cycles, or perhaps heavy rain could produce more events.

Sproat Lake Marine Patrol (SLMP) is back in action for summer 2021 at the Sproat Lake Provincial Boat Launch.

It has been a busy summer for the Sproat Lake Marine Patrol team. Beginning back in June with a focus on education in schools. The SLMP visited 9 classes at a variety of elementary schools. They delivered presentations about the importance of marine safety when boating and swimming. Since then, it’s been busy at the boat launch; so much of their time has been dedicated to helping boats launch; providing information to tourists; lending life jackets to those heading out on boats; and growing the SLMP social media platforms!

SLMP summer 2021

The SLMP have had the opportunity to educate many boaters about licensing and registration, required safety equipment, and provide recommendations about use of the lake. Additionally, you may have seen them out and around the lake on the patrol boat, speaking to boaters, water testing and cleaning up beaches. The newest addition to our program is our social media accounts this year. SLMP posts have reached over 10,000 people and plan to continue using these platforms to provide educational information and updates about lake happenings.

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok




Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department (SLVFD)

Sproat Lake residents can be thankful every day for the consistent personal and property protection that is provided by the Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department as a whole. The decommissioning of SLVFD Hall 2 will not affect the protection coverage to the community or the insurance saving we get with the hydrant status the fire department delivers, as identified by an assessment conducted by Dave Mitchell and Associates Ltd in June 2021.

SLVFD Mission Statement

Sproat Lake Volunteer Fire Department MISSION STATEMENT: Volunteers dedicated to the protection of life, property, and environment in the Sproat Lake Community. Hall #1 – Lakeshore Rd. Hall #2 – Faber Rd Hall #3 – Pacific Rim Hwy
Message from Chief Cann,
Thank you for your emails, phone calls, questions and most importantly your support in the recent decision to decommission SLVFD Hall #2 – Faber Rd.
Some frequently asked questions have been:

Why is Hall #2 being closed?

Hall #2 is not being closed. Rescue 40 (First Responder truck) will remain on site and used for First Responder emergency calls. The dock will remain available for first responder/ambulance transfer calls. The Dry Hydrant will remain as it is a vital water supply for structure fires. The hall itself will be repurposed as a training centre for not only SLVFD firefighters, but firefighters from across BC. It will also provide storage for spare equipment and apparatus. (A dry hydrant is an unpressurized, permanently installed pipe that has one end below the water level of the lake. This end has a strainer to prevent debris from entering the pipe. The other end is above ground and has a hard sleeve connector. The fire engine is then able to pump water from the lake. SLVFD currently has 3 dry hydrants with the other 2 located at Hall #1 and Great Central Lake.)

Why is Hall #2 being decommissioned?

To maintain our ‘Hydrant Status’ with Fire Underwriter’s Survey, we are required to maintain a bare minimum of 15 members, not including Fire Chief and Deputy Chief, at the main hall, plus a minimum of 10 members at each satellite hall. And each hall must contain fully functioning, up to date, firefighting apparatus. SLVD currently has 30 active members, and by decommissioning Hall #2, the members that have previously responded from Hall #2 will be redispersed to Halls #1 & #3. Engine 47, in Hall #2, is 21 years old and would have been required to have been replaced in 2021 at a cost of $700,000 to $950,000 (if all 3 fire halls remained as they were).

Why not just close Hall #1?

To close Hall #1 leaves most residents on Lakeshore Rd, and beyond, without any fire protection at all.

Tuesday, August 10th was Hall #2 member’s final fire practice. Tuesday, August 17th Hall #2 members will report to their new respective fire halls for practice. Tender 45 has been relocated to Hall #1 for service, and Engine 47 will be stored in reserve if one of the other two engines breaks down.

Is it true SLVFD is acquiring a fireboat to be kept at Hall #2?

The possibility of a fireboat has been in discussion off and on for several years and is currently being discussed again as an option for Hall #2. The main reason it has not been pursued further is again due to the lack of volunteers required to see the project through to its fruition.
Clearly, we are always looking for volunteers. If you’re interested, drop by Hall #1 or #3 any Tuesday night between 7:00 – 9:00 PM, or phone me, Mike Cann, at 250- 731-0936 or email me at mcann@sproatlakefire.ca or Deputy Chief Derrick Cyr at 250-731-8115 or email dcyr@sproatlakefire.ca
Also, to help protect your home from wildfire, please see the ACRD FireSmart Home Assessment Information Sheet. www.acrd.bc.ca/fire
WASP Sprinkler systems are also available for purchase through SLVFD. Contact Fire Prevention Officer Chris Wynans at cwynans@sproatlakefire.ca.

Address signs are also important when trying to locate your home in an emergency. These are available for $75 and can be ordered by contacting Chris Wynans as well. If your question has not been answered here, please don’t hesitate to contact me at 250-731-0936.
Mike Cann, Sproat Lake Fire Chief
Join Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District staff and members from the SLVFD on September 27th for an open house/presentation at the Sproat Lake Community Hall. Visit www.acrd.bc.ca for more details.

The Wood Stove Exchange Program

is on-going with rebates available on a first-come, first-served basis. Exchange any woodstove older than 7 years (pre-2014) for a cleaner burning fuel source (pellet, gas or propane appliance or electric heat pump) and save $800. Exchange your old, uncertified woodstove (pre-1994) for a new SCA EPA emissions certified wood stove and save $400. For further information on how to qualify please visit our participating retailers. Check out the link www.acrd.bc.ca/woodstove-exchange-program or phone 250-720-2700. Help your health and your pocketbook. Acceptable air quality is everyone’s right. Protecting air quality is everyone’s responsibility.

In April 2020, the ACRD Board endorsed an eight-point public engagement plan to engage with ACRD residents on the two burning bylaws proposed for the region. Details for the Burning Bylaw Review page is available on the ACRD website www.acrd.bc.ca/burning-bylaw- review


Sproat Lake Community Hall

Association looks forward to opening the doors again to the public. In 2020/2021 renovations continued to the interior while exterior painting was completed. Further renovations include storage and bar area, a new front deck and renewed multi-use courts. Thanks to the SLCA Directors collaboration with SL Electoral Area Director and ACRD efforts for gaining support from the Community Works Funds (CWF) Grant through UBCM and the Province to fund these projects. These are taxes we have all paid to the Province and we now see those tax dollars coming backto support our community.

To book the Sproat Lake Community Hall for your next event see information on the community website www.sproatlakecommunityassociation.com or phone 250-724-5040 for more information on rates and requirements. COVID PHO Order on gatherings and event restrictions remain in place until further notice.

Pickleball is very much alive and well at Sproat Lake Hall.

Courts are owned and operated by the SLCA for the enjoyment of Sproat Lake Residents and their guests. The Pickleball sign up calendar is on the SLCA website. Everyone, including guests, is encouraged to sign up. We are always eager to welcome newcomers to the men’s, women’s or mixed groups play. If you want or need instruction, we are happy to set up mentoring sessions. Call Linda Bowers 250-731-5241 or 250-724- 3626 for information.

Currently a new multi-faceted court to include three pickleball courts, tennis & basketball is under construction with support from a CWF Grant. At presentthere are three functional pickleball courts.

Congratulations to the Sproat Lake Pickleballers who competed at the National Pickleball Championships in Red Deer. Marilyn Oldfield came home with a gold in the 3.5 women’s doubles, Len Doumont brought home a bronze in the men’s 3.5 doubles, Sam Doumont and Carolyn Francour came fourth in women’s 3.0, and Len andMarilyn came 4th in mixed doubles 3.5.

Dickson Drive/Faber Road Community Block Watch annual meeting was held on July 10, 2021 at the Faber Park with a Meet & Greet BBQ. 42 residences are participating in the neighbourhood program, which amounts to about 90% of the area. Many thanks to all four Block Watch #3 co-captains and the Community Policing Manager for Port Alberni, Dave Cusson, who attended and spoke about the many benefits of the Block Watch program. For more information on how to get started with a Block Watch program for your area

please check out their website or contact Community Policing at 778-421-3992.

Sproat Lake Parks and Trails. Central Westcoast Forest Society and Ministry of Transportation are completing a culvert replacement and fish habitat redevelopment at Shuhum Creek/Maple Creek along Lakeshore Road. The Lakeshore trail has been kept open with the installation of a footbridge to maintain pedestrian access for the duration of the project.

Cougar Smith Playground on Faber Road has completed replacement of the asphalt driveway. Unfortunately, garbage left in the parks has been an issue this summer. Please do not bring household garbage to the parks. The final section of Lakeshore Road Trail to Sproat LakeLanding is in the final planning stages and expected to be completed summer of 2022. The ACRD has been approved for a $140,000 COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure grant for this project.

Playground and public recreation sport courts are open to the public with COVID-19 restrictions in place. We ask that park visitors follow 2-meter physical distancing measures while enjoying other aspects of the parks and outdoor recreation areas and community trails. We appreciate everyone doing their part during these challenging times. If you have any questions or would like to volunteer, please email Joe Lamoureaux at joe@albernihometeam.com .

Community Concerns – Dogs on the Loose!

ACRD Bylaw Enforcement has received several calls regarding potentially dangerous incidents of unsupervised dogs in our Sproat Lake neighbourhoods. They have been reported wandering on roads, in public park areas and on trails. As per ACRD Bylaw R1014, for the safety and protection of all residents, visitors and pets, dogs must be supervised and controlled at all times. Please be respectful of others and ensure your responsibilities as a dog owner are never neglected. The Sproat Lake parks and public areas are for everyone to enjoy safely – including our pets!

Boater incidents cause personal and property damages.

Summer boaters are welcome to come and experience all that beautiful Sproat Lake has to offer. Regrettably many boats participating in wake sports are producing wake damage to shoreline and multiple incidents of property and personal damage have been reported. Boaters are urged to heed the rules of safe boating etiquette with respect to the environment and personal properties. You are legally responsible for damages created by your boat wake.
Please see the ACRD website for Sproat Lake Marine Patrol Safe Boating Lake Etiquette at www.acrd.bc.ca/slmp


Sproat Lake shoreline beach clean-up to clean targeted crown land beaches is scheduled for the end of September or beginning of October, weather permitting. Watch for the notice onthe SLCA Facebook page and website www.sproatlakecommunityassociation.com

Sproat Lake Water testing program to restart in September 2021.

Since November 2020 the BC Lake Stewardship Program Level 3 was put on hold due to COVID safety concerns for volunteers. This program is supported by Ministry of Environment (ENV) as part of the British Columbia Lake Stewardship Society (BCLSS) monitoring program. The sampling will be collected by community volunteers and will include water sampling for additional parameters, as well as a site profile (temperature and dissolved oxygen measurements down through the water column). ENV would provide all bottles and equipment and field measurements (site profile) as well as training. ENV will pay for all lab analysis and staff will compile all the data and work with BCLSS to report. Thank you to the community volunteers. If you would like to volunteer, please call Penny @ 250-724-5040 or email pcote@acrd.bc.ca

Attention all RV Owners!

The ACRD Zoning Bylaw prohibits the use of a recreational vehicle (RV) as a seasonal, part time or full- time residence in all residential and rural zones in the Sproat Lake area. This use of an RV is only permitted on land zoned for campsite use, or if specifically allowed by the ACRD Building Inspectors, on a temporary basis, during the construction of a home.

ACRD Bylaw Enforcement receives numerous complaints every year on this issue. Concerns include sewage disposal, noise, and health safety. If you are using an RV as a residence of any sort, please contact ACRD Bylaw Enforcement at bylaw@acrd.bc.ca to confirm compliance with zoning.

The Somass Watershed Flood Management Plan (SWFMP)

The SWFMP report and maps are on the ACRD website at www.acrd.bc.ca/somass-flood for further information and updates. The ACRD Board of Directors are awaiting a peer review of the study as presented.

Alberni Valley Regional Airport (AVRA) Strategic Plan gets approval.

At the April 14th, 2021 Board of Director’s meeting, the ACRD Board adopted the Alberni Valley Regional AirportVisioning and Strategic Plan. Following the adoption of the plan, staff worked with the Alberni Valley Regional Airport (AVRA) Advisory Committee to develop a short- term implementation plan of the AVRA strategic plan items. The Board supported this plan at the July

28th Board meeting, which included a significant number of initiatives related to promotion and marketing, minor improvements, and planning for longer term and larger investment projects. A few of the larger cost items are the installation of internet, creation of a servicing plan and signage. Funding to undertake these initiatives is being made available as a result of the grant relief program for regional airports through the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure which provided $180,000 in funding to the AVRA. The estimated cost for the initiatives identified in the short-term implementation plan and is $130,000.

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