Letters To the Board, Post

Re: CBRA off-leash dog public consultation feedback

Hello CBRA off-leash dog public consultation committee,
I am a Cadboro Bay resident and just read about your committee for the first time in the Saanich News. We’ve been residents here for the last 5.5 years.
I am writing to you to express my concerns to your committee, and suggest ways that you can access more local public input.

While I grew up with dogs my whole life and am a self-and-family-proclaimed animal lover, I think the eastern most section of Cadboro Bay beach should not be allowable to off-leash dogs. From my knowledge, this section of the beach has been made allowable to dogs under the bylaw revision in the 90’s but conflicts with the Federal Migratory Bird Sanctuary set out in 1923, protecting many migratory seabirds and their important habitat.
Over the last 5.5 years of living in Cadboro Bay, we’ve been travelling to the beach less and less. The beach was a main draw to buy the house we are now living in and we had such wonderful dreams of walking and playing on the beach daily. Much to our disappointment, our visits have dramatically decreased because of the misbehaviour of dogs and dog owners. It is clear to me now that the attitude on this beach is that dogs are superior over other beach goers.
More than once, I have dug into dog feces while building sand castles with my kids. Dogs trample through our small play space/towels laid out, knocking over our sand creations and kicking sand up at us. Very rarely do dog owners even apologize or attempt to call their dogs back. If they do call, we hear from a distance, “he’s/she’s friendly”. It doesn’t matter if they are friendly; I don’t want an unfamiliar dog trampling right into my space and walking over my belongings. Every single visit we’ve made, there is at least one instance of a dog defacating on the beach and the owner is unaware/ walking away/ talking on the phone/ talking to other dog walkers. I always call to the owner to tell them that their pet left them a present and politely ask them to go back to pick it up. This typically happens more than once for our 1-2 hour beach play, and I consider it a good day when it only happens once. My eldest child has a fear of dogs from being charged at frequently and occasionally knocked down when I couldn’t get to him in time, because we used to visit the beach often.
Most importantly, this beach is within the Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary. It is a tragedy how many times we’ve seen dogs chasing protected birds and shorebirds who are feeding, resting or nesting, with no efforts to be called back or restrained by owners. We watch it happen all the time and I have collected several photos. Please have a look at the Government of Canada’s site explaining the importance of this sanctuary. https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/migratory-bird-sanctuaries/locations/victoria-harbour.html#toc2 It explicitly states: “Dogs or cats must not be allowed to run at large inside Migratory Bird Sanctuaries.”. There is absolutely no enforcement happening along this beach, and Environment Canada’s Game Officers are instructed not to patrol this section because of the confusion with dog allowance. If dogs are allowed on this beach, there should be more patrol, not less or none.
It is also quite confusing and problematic when dog owners cut through the playground area where dogs are not allowed. Many are not leashed or even held by their collars, and not under effective control. Once a few dogs are spotted travelling in those areas, many others follow suit because they think it’s allowed. I’ve even seen dogs tied up to playground equipment. Many dogs, with their owners, also walk along the section of beach not permitted to dogs. I believe because not many people bother to read the signage posted and they assume because it’s known as a “dog beach”, dogs are allowed through the whole stretch. Just last week, I was walking towards Hibben’s Close beach stairway, after having passed the playground, when a dog owner went by with an off leash dog. When I politely said “Hi, just thought I would let you know that this section of the beach is off limits to dogs”, I got an “Oh well” reply. If dogs were not allowed along the whole section of the beach’s Migratory Bird Sanctuary, there would be less confusion overall.
Living about 150m from the dog beach access off of Telegraph Bay/Cadboro Bay Rd., I am disappointed that I have not had any contact from the CBRA committee by mail. I suggest that you add in a slip of paper into houses around the area asking for their personal feedback, observations and experiences.
I realize that there are many dog owners and lovers in Cadboro Bay and throughout Victoria (I do love dogs, too!), and many travel from other municipalities to visit our self-proclaimed “dog beach” so my opinion is likely the minority. However, dogs need to be leashed at a minimum, and ideally not allowed along the whole stretch of Cadboro Bay beach. It is the environmental impact and the importance of the Victoria Harbour Migratory Bird Sanctuary that really needs be focused on.
Thank you for your time and putting my voice forward within the CBRA and the Saanich Council.
Jenny Nanninga

Cadboro Bay Resident

[address supplied]

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: Derelict and Abandoned Boats in Cadboro Bay Beach

Good Afternoon,

It was with great interest that I read the above article in todays issue of the Oak Bay News. A friend (Cadboro Bay Resident) and I were  doing garbage pick up at Caddy Beach, May 18 and noticed  5 derelict boats (2 partially submerged and 3 beached) there at that time.

I  sent a letter to Saanich Municipal Council as well as talked with John Roe of the Dead Boat Society. I also sent a letter to Andrew Weaver, though have not heard back. The automated reply from Saanich Municipal Council was that  it would be brought forward, though have not heard anything since.

I am delighted to hear that the Cadboro Bay Resident Association is  doing beach clean ups and is actively involved with the on-going issue of derelict and abandoned boats.

On another note, as we walked south along the beach, we came across many feet of coiled, perforated pipes. They appeared to be drainage pipes, though we were not sure about this. There was a lot of overhanging invasive ivy in that area, so was hard to get in underneath the ivy to investigate any further. I’d be very interested to know why it is there?

Is there also interest in removing invasive ivy from the beach and replacing with beach grass?

Kind Regards

Jacqueline Bird

Oak Bay Resident

[email address supplied]

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: Development Application at 2345 Queenswood Drive

Good evening,

I hope this finds you well. On behalf of local Queenswood residents, we wanted to follow up to see if Cadboro Bay Residents Council has a position on the Application for Subdivision at 2345 Queenswood Drive. My email reflects the query of 21 Queenswood owners.

In April, I copied CBRA on the background information for this proposed application. I was also present when the applicant presented to CBRA Council in 2018; however, it should be noted that there was not full disclosure on the part of the applicant at that time. Much information has come to light in the two years hence, including that the applicant wishes to subdivide, sell to a developer and move.  There are over 21 neighbours known to us, and probably many more, who do not support this development.

The application request at 2345 Queenswood Drive is for an additional two lots and two homes in addition to the current lot and dwelling for a total of three lots and homes. In addition, the applicant is asking for a variance to the backyard setback of the existing home to allow a new lot ‘B’ to be within 21’ of the existing large 5000’sq+ home. As well, the current residence will require two garages to be removed in order to allow room for the proposed third House ‘C’ along the communal pathway, resulting in the 5000sq’ existing home having an unusually small backyard with only a single garage. Realistically this would increase the likelihood that the existing older home would be torn down, without the benefit to neighbours of any design covenant. Without the backyard variance and the garages being removed this lovely existing house would be a great candidate to be remodeled and restored. The most significant issue for ourselves and neighbours is that the proposed lots and houses are situated awkwardly on the property, resulting in a massive negative impact on the privacy to the five immediate contiguous homes who either directly abut the existing property or side along the communal walkway. As a large 4200sq+’ house, the back of proposed House ‘B’ on Annabern would be at a unusual 90 degree angle to the back of our home and backyard; sadly we would lose the privacy which was a large part of the reason that we chose Queenswood to raise our family. Given the awkward placement, if a house had to be built on this lot ‘B’, we would ask that the house is a single story home in keeping with the other homes on the Crescent. This would serve to visually fit in with the four single story houses from the street to the left and to the right on Annabern, while lessening the negative impact to privacy of all concerned.

As well, the plans call for over 60 trees to be removed, including two protected trees with only two trees required to be replaced. The current lot has a mixed zoning of RS12 and RS14 and a lot line that runs through the existing home, which we understand Saanich may want to amend to two official lots. We do understand the dilemma this could pose for Saanich, so while we ideally do not want to see any development, we are aware about the possibility of Saanich approving for a second lot. However, we strongly oppose any argument for an additional third lot on this Queenswood property.  A third lot and house ‘C’ is in our view completely excessive and unneeded, and given the awkward proposed layout which has House ‘C’ squished between the communal walkway and existing house,  privacy and light for neighbours is significantly affected.

Queenswood is a unique, treed, countrified setting that prides itself on maintaining its natural environment with plenty of trees, intentionally no street lights and no sidewalks. Queenswood is not the Arbutus Corridor and we must support and maintain our rural settings for the enjoyment of locals, the greater community and the next generation, otherwise the damage will be done and the beauty is lost forever. Simply put it would be not be a welcome addition to have the precedent of developing a single lot into three lots in the Queenswood area.

As Cadboro Bay and Queenswood residents as well as CBRA members, we are asking for Council’s support in sending a message to Saanich Planning that the development at 2345 Queenswood is not supported as it is currently proposed, which is an ill-fitting three lot and three house subdivision necessitating the removal of 60 trees.  We invite CBRA Council to come to our property to view from the back, to see first hand the impact that this development would have on immediate neighbours in terms of loss of privacy and greenery. We contend that any proposal for one additional lot and house (not two) must: fit on the current property on Annabern Crescent in a such way as to keep the flow and privacy of the neighbourhood intact (single story home ideally), provide a design covenant to provide comfort to all affected neighbours and replace a larger portion of lost trees.  

We kindly thank you for your consideration of this matter and look forward to your reply.

Sincerely,

Anne Kestell and Alan Nisbet

Queenswood Drive [address supplied] 

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: Cadboro Bay Beach Usage

To: Cadboro Bay Residents’ Association

People and dogs must behave well within their communities: People respect other people and the shared environment and, as dogs are attached to people, they too need to respect people and the shared environment. As no person or animal is perfect, tolerance and understanding are two traits that will build communities and keep them together.

1. SHOREBIRDS.

Shorebirds feed when the tide is low, not high, and as dogs and people walk in all tides, many times there will be no shorebirds for the dogs to chase. Most dogs don’t chase shorebirds, and owners of dogs that are so inclined, leash their dogs when shorebirds are present. Does it happen? Yes, occasionally shorebirds are disrupted but not continuously or routinely. Are dogs the only disruptors? No, especially in the summer when skim boarders, skidoo’s, and people frolicking in the shallows can disrupt the shorebirds, but neither the human or canine element is incessant. Thankfully shorebirds are smart and the Cadboro Bay Beach (“the Beach”) is long. The birds vacate the summer-popular Ten Mile Point end of the Beach and go to the less popular RVYC end. Learned etiquette also plays a role. A case in point; about a month ago, a new dog walker from afar arrived on the Beach with an energetic dog. When it was noticed that her dog had a tendency to chase after birds, fellow dog walkers politely advised that this was not acceptable. She understood and has found a different place to walk her dog.

2. (DOG) WALKERS, KDMD & LET’S HAVE FUN!

In the cool and sometimes harsh winter days, a few hardy dog walkers brave the elements but come summer when the weather is fine, many enjoy the “dog end” of the Beach, aptly named due to the summer dog closure of Gyro Park and the rest of the Beach. There are three distinct summer groups: The “walkers”, many with their canine companion, arrive for their morning exercise walk. It’s a tight knit community who are off the Beach by about 10:00 am. Then come the “KDMD” – kids, dogs, mums and dads. They choose their spot, get out the beach toys and towels, sometimes little tents, open the picnic basket and enjoy a day at the Beach often with the family dog, usually returning home before dinner. Later in the day and often into the evening, the “let’s have fun!” contingent of youth arrive. They are at the Beach to socialise – laughing, playing spike ball, throwing a ball around, singing, enjoying music are all part of the fun, and yes, the family dog is playing too. Some “dog-less” visitors come to the Beach just to enjoy the company the dogs. The joy is palpable – everybody, including the dogs, are having fun. It’s a pleasurable, beautiful place for the community as a whole to enjoy and not surprisingly, it’s popular. Due to the summer closure of the rest of the Beach, the activities can be concentrated, but if it was too noisy, full of unruly dogs and people flaunting unacceptable behaviour, it would not attract so many people, but thankfully, this is not the case. These three groups, all in their own way, share a culture of joy, mutual respect, appreciation of the aesthetics and acceptance of each other. This inclusive Beach culture has been with us for a long time, but like all cultures, it is delicate and care must be taken to preserve it.

(Please note: Not included in this discussion are the raucous UVIC students who party in the Spring and Autumn evenings, often requiring police intervention.)

3. 100 YEARS OF ENJOYMENT OF THE BEACH  

Having grown up enjoying the Beach, I can confirm the activities of the three groups noted above having been part of all three, with my dog at the time, over the years. But the enjoyment of the Beach goes back at least 100 years. In the 1920’s, my mother used to enjoy a day’s outing riding her horse through the undeveloped Uplands, down to the Beach to have lunch ($1.25 see below) at the Cadboro Bay Beach Hotel. The following is a quote from Glen A. Mofford’s book, A Journey Back to the Historical Hotels of Vancouver Island, attests to the longevity of the Beach culture:

The newly renovated Cadboro Beach Hotel officially opened for the season on April 25, 1920. The hotel had a capacity for seventy-five guests and the dining room and lounge each offered the warmth from a large stone fireplace. Every room came with a lovely view overlooking the bay. Imagine having a tea or a smoke on the large hotel veranda while watching the children play on the beach or during a warm summer night enjoying the moonlight as its reflective glow draws across the bay making the water dance and sparkle. The opening was announced earlier in the day in the Victoria Colonist, ‘Cadboro Beach Hotel Opens Today; Afternoon teas, soda fountain, ice cream, sundaes, etc ~ lunch $1.25, dinner $1.50…Stuart and Frances M. Armour, Managers, formally with the Hotel Department of the Canadian Pacific Railroad.’

4. COVID

We are in unusual times: The Covid virus caused the closure of many dog friendly Provincial Parks from 8 April to 14 May and the UVIC “dog park” is still closed, making Cadboro Bay Beach the closest alternative. In addition, many are furloughed and schools are closed which contributes to the unusually high usage of the Beach, but as things return to normal the demand for this space will lessen. In the meantime, due to higher density and the many “newcomers” who may not be well versed in the Beach etiquette, there may be increased noise levels and some “new” dogs that may not be as well behaved as the old timers. As with all anomalies, a little understanding by all is required. The knock-on effects of density will likely not continue as things normalize.    

5. NOISE

Never can I recall a violation of Saanich Bylaw No. 7059 (see below) for the abatement and control of noise. This doesn’t mean it has never happened, but it’s rare.  

Section 5. DOGS

(a)  The sound made by a dog barking, howling or creating any kind of sound continually or sporadically or erratically for any period of time in excess of ten minutes is, in the opinion of Council, an objectionable noise.

(b)  It shall be unlawful for any person to harbour or keep a dog which shall make an objectionable noise by barking, howling or creating any kind of sound continually or sporadically or erratically for any period of time in excess of ten minutes.

6. COMMUNITY STEWARDSHIP    

Those who regularly walk the Beach, with or without their canine companions, care for the Beach. As well as diligently picking up “poop”, they pick up litter, plastics, tin cans, glass, and other paraphernalia. The mornings after a warm summer’s eve of frolicking, the Beach finds itself in need of a cleanup and the walkers gladly take on the responsibility. When chunks of fiberglass, mattresses, countertops and other debris come ashore from boats washed up on the Beach, it’s these regular morning walkers who move the debris, sometimes including derelict canoes and dinghies to the trash bins for the Saanich waste control to dispose of.

7. NEIGHBOURS

The Beach has always been a close community and has spawned a distinct culture. It’s well known as a place for people, their children and their pets. But who “owns” the Beach?  Typically, the provincial government has jurisdiction over the foreshore where most people walk, that is, the area between the low water level and the natural (high tide) boundary. Above the high tide line where all the logs are, is municipal jurisdiction and below the low water level is federal. (Often the municipal and provincial jurisdiction have sub agreements, and this may be the case with Cadboro Bay. I’m not sure) Where the Beach ends and the land begins is a natural boundary beyond which, in the case of Cadboro Bay, lies Gyro Park and private Beach houses. The public is privileged to have use of the foreshore held by these three crown entities, and those in adjacent Beach houses are privileged to have unimpeded access to and from any point along the natural boundary of their property to the Beach. One of the privileges of being in BC are the “public” beaches, and Cadboro Bay is no exception. It’s there for everyone to share.    

8. THE COMMUNITY

For about a century the community, the various government bodies and Beach house owners have co-existed. The Beach has attracted children, parents, grandparents, old and young alike, many with their pets. Children play, enjoy the water, make sand castles, have a nap. Youth socialise, play guitars, sing, have fun and make friends. Mums and Dads take well needed breaks. The elderly enjoy meeting with long-time friends and making new ones. There is the sound of joy and of frolic, sometimes late into the evening. And yes, dogs bark, children scream, music is played and laughter abounds. In winter the Beach may be sunny and silent or the winds may howl for hours on end, louder than any voice, tossing heavy logs like matchsticks, spraying salt everywhere, but even so, a hardy dog walker will inevitably be present. It’s all part of life on the Beach. No matter which of these activities attract people to this environment, the common element is the therapeutic benefit of joy, shared by all, including those with four legs and wagging tails.

9. CONCLUSION

On the Beach, different activities can be enjoyed by different groups all year around. Sharing and mutual understanding are part of life on the Beach, and both residents and dog walkers need to respect this long – established culture. There will occasionally be breaches by all parties, but with a little tolerance and understanding, life as we know it on Cadboro Bay Beach will prevail.  

It’s a privilege to walk and live on the Beach, but with this privilege comes responsibility and I am convinced that community responsibility and mutual respect will see us through any temporary concerns. There is no need for invasive rules and restrictions. The community as a whole understands. Dog walkers, KDMD’s, and youth socialisation are as much a part of life on Cadboro Bay Beach as the lovely Beach houses, a calm, quiet Autumn evening and the crashing waves of a winter storm. Thankfully it all comes with the territory, and how lucky we all are to have this territory to share.

Thank you for listening.

Bruce Homer

Cadboro Bay Road [address and email address supplied] 

Letters To the Board, Post

Concerning Dogs at Gyro Park

Further to the several letters about dogs at Gyro Park.  I live on Penrhyn and make near daily use of the park and the beach at Cadboro Bay. I have noticed a large increase in the number of unleashed dogs on the Victoria Yacht club side of the beach.  I have a fear of dogs and the fact that dogs are running loose means I cannot use the beach for my walks. Leashes are a must.  There is a dog part of the beach already where I cannot go, but I have a right to at least part of the beach.

Thanks so much

Budd Hall

[address supplied]

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: Cadboro beach dog dilemma

It is most disappointing and disheartening to read the latest collection of letters pitting neighbor against neighbor in the battle over proper use of a public beach.

I am continually frustrated to see efforts from all sides of this debate engaging in hyperbole and obfuscation in an attempt to create a beach area more suited for only a certain specific use. Instead, the Cadboro Bay community should be working together, communicating clearly and honestly, and forming a concise request of action from Saanich that will improve the beach for all users and not a select group of dog owners or homeowners.

It is very clear that there are a multitude of issues impacting the ability for citizens of all sorts from being able to properly enjoy this beach. However, these diverse problems are not produced by a single guilty group. Rather than pointing fingers, laying blame, and seeking to ban or remove access, our citizens should be demanding Saanich stop being derelict in its responsibilities and actually enforce the rules and regulations which already exist. The overwhelming majority of issues noted are already in clear contravention to existing bylaws, and proper education and enforcement of these bylaws would have enormous positive effect. It is possible for everyone to enjoy the beach area, but only if mutual respect and conformity with regulations is shown.

Oak Bay PD recently posted on their social media account photos of Oak Bay PD officers patrolling Gonzales Beach during a busy sunny afternoon. Is it too much to ask our own municipal government devote a few resources to our own popular beach? As summer weather approaches, public use of the beach increases and so does the potential for conflict between users. Asking for an increase in patrol and enforcement in this incredibly valuable public area is not an unreasonable request. Demanding a proper bylaw or police officer response to legitimate complaints should not be unrealistic. One homeowner has been able to supply clear evidence of finable offenses, but been brushed off by bylaw officers; this is simply unacceptable and a complete failure of our system. Legitimate issues require a legitimate response, and Saanich’s failure to appropriately respond to repeated public complaint has resulted in this current atmosphere of divisive tension.

Currently, it is very clear that some individuals do not respect or are not aware of proper beach etiquette and bylaw requirements. But changing these bylaws will have little effect if the current bylaws are already being ignored. Creating new rules without proper education and enforcement will only result in greater conflict when the new rules are once again shrugged off.

On a sunnier note, I applaud the recent creation of the Cadboro Bay Local and Cadboro Beachkeepers Facebook groups – this collaborative and cooperative effort is exactly what the community and beach require. In these groups, I witness individuals on both sides of the beach debate working together to improve conditions for all. It is my hope that these positive efforts can be further encouraged and expanded such that our community develops a strong unified voice that will be heard by our Saanich government .

John Ewaskiw

[address supplied]

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: Cadboro Bay Beach, open to the public

To the Cadboro Bay News Bulletin

I wish to comment on a recent letter to the Cadboro Bay News Bulletin, in which the author complained strenuously about the activity of dogs at the “east end” of Cadboro Beach. The letter has disappeared from the newsletter, so I cannot reference the writer.

I can say that we, as Cadboro Bay residents, are privileged to have Cadboro Beach as a public beach. Rules should be followed.

I use it about three times a week with my dogs. My dogs do not fight, or bark or chase birds. Of course I pick up after their leavings.
The birds I tend to see are seagulls, ducks, pigeons and crows.
We are self isolating and it is one of the few places open to us where the few people we see, are good at keeping their distance.

I would like to reiterate, it is a public beach, that means the public have the right to enjoy it as well as those who are fortunate enough to actually live adjacent to the beach.

Staying safe,

Jan Cook
Tudor Ave.
Victoria, BC.

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: Concerns regarding off leash dogs on Cadboro Beach

Dear Cadboro Bay Residents Association,

We are writing to express our concerns with the issues related to off leash dogs on Cadboro Beach. In the ten days since May 1, we have witnessed a significant increase in activity, which is to be expected given the closure of Willows Beach to dogs and the seasonal restriction after 9:00am for the western Gyro Beach portion of Cadboro Bay. The increased use by off leash dogs of the eastern unrestricted portion of Cadboro Beach is problematic because, unfortunately, a portion of dog owners continue to behave in an entitled and irresponsible manner, despite the recent publicity of community concerns. Below is small sampling of recent incidents we have observed, which have supporting video and photographic evidence.

  • May 4, 2020: A heron is repeatedly chased by three separate off leash dogs. Owners all observed their dogs chasing the heron down the beach and then again as they came back and did not make any attempts to call or restrain their dogs. (Video available)
  • May 5, 2020: A young girl playing in the sand is upset and crying after being jumped on by an off leash dog. (Photo available)
  • May 7, 2020: Multiple piles of dog feces are left behind. (Photos available)
  • May 10, 2020: A woman with a Samoyed Husky walks up and down the beach throwing stones to her barking dog. The dog barks non stop for the entire hour, as it does every time she visits (4-5 times per week). She is approached separately by two people who politely ask her to minimize the barking and she adamantly refuses and says it is her right to make as much noise as she wants on the “dog beach” and anyone who is bothered should just leave. (Video available)
  • May 10, 2020: A man watches his dog defecate in the ocean where multiple people are swimming and skim boarding. He makes no attempt to stop or move his dog or collect the waste. Children nearby are disgusted and leave the water and refuse to go back in. His dog then runs through beach grass and tramples a family picnic and won’t come to repeated calls so he has to physically retrieve it by the collar and drag it down the beach. (Photos available)
  • May 11, 2020: A mother is breastfeeding her baby while sitting on a beach log. A group of six large off leash dogs run and jump around her, wrestling, sniffing her and her baby and kicking sand. She is clearly bothered but the dog owners make no attempt to call or remove their dogs. One of them shouts from a distance that “they’re friendly”. Another dog then comes and begins to dig a large hole right beside her, kicking sand on her. As the owner walks by ignoring his dog’s behaviour, the mother politely asks if he could move his dog “just a bit further away” and he tells her this is the “dog beach” and if she doesn’t want to be around dogs she can move down to the other end. (Photo available)

Many dog owners argue that these are one-off isolated incidents. But how many isolated incidents does it take before we admit there is a problem?

Beachfront residents have been given a bad rap for expressing their concerns about the impact of off leash dogs. It is true that you can visit Cadboro Beach many times throughout the day and observe a peaceful setting, whether crowded or not, where dogs and their owners are well behaved. However, this does not mean that there are not serious and ongoing problems that are being witnessed far too frequently. As beachfront residents, we are able to act as custodians of this natural treasure and advocate for its responsible enjoyment and protection.

It is also true that there are other issues in Cadboro Bay that people point to as being of equal or greater importance than dogs, including derelict boats, loud parties and construction noise. However, none of these negates the fact that we have multiple ongoing problems related to off leash dogs, including wildlife harassment, pollution of sand and water with feces, degradation of protected flora, trespass and damage to private property, excessive noise due to barking and repeated calls, and injuries to people and other dogs.

Although large as a group, individual dog owners using the beach for a short time (often one hour or less) only bear witness to a fraction of the dog activities that occur on any given day. Whereas beachfront homeowners (which are much smaller in number as a group) bear witness to the bulk of the dog activities that occur (both positive and negative) over the course of the day from dawn through dusk. Thus, it is these residents who are best positioned to comment on the current nature of dog activity and identify problems that are arising on a consistent basis.

If the CBRA represents the entire community, this must include people with concerns, even if they appear to be the minority. If a quiet residential street was being used as a high speed shortcut for commuter traffic for one hour each day, you might only have a handful of residents concerned about the dangers, and a large number of commuters who wished to retain the status quo of their shortcut. This doesn’t mean the majority overrides the safety concerns of the minority. It is important to examine the issue on its merits.

Thank you for your consideration of these concerns.

Ramona Johnston and Aaron Papps
Cadboro Bay Road

Letters To the Board, Post

Re: Response to Janet Regan’s letter

Dear CBRA members,

After reading Jillian Regan’s letter dated May 10, 2020 I would like to share my own related experience. Before I relate the details I will comment that reading Jillian Regan’s opinion reads like a  vitriol rant of hatred towards dogs and their humans. One could have substituted an ethnic group or another species in place of ‘dog owner’ and ‘dog’ for all the arbitrariness and prejudice contain in the letter. Letters like Jillian Regan’s fail to give sound minded perspectives on any issues. It sounds like of a personal vendetta. The scenarios mentioned are also most likely fabricated. As a dog owner, I have yet to see any of the events she mentions happens. 

Not to say such a thing has never happened but we know when someone is exaggerating to support a position. When a complaint is meant to serve a small interest group who have no interest in working out a win/win scenario then it is better to dismiss it as not serving the greater populace. I would also dismiss it too but I see the connection between what I experienced on the same date as Jillian Regan’s letter.

On the morning of May 10, 2020, between the hours of 10:00 am and 11:00 am. I decided to take my dog to play at Cadboro Bay.  It is not our usual beach but because of a recovering paw injury I thought sand and the low tide would be best for him. We began our play in the designated dog area. I throw rocks along the beach, he bounds through the water chasing them, he barks at me to keep the game going. He is having fun and so am I.

While I was engaging with my dog a women approached me and asked me to keep him quiet, this led to a long exchange as she followed me up the beach recording this interaction. I suspected she was trying to create a confrontation as she presented herself as the voice of others who find dogs barking on a beach as unacceptable noise. Personally I would take natural sounds over man made noise any day but apparently the ‘dog banners’ feel it is easier to confront dog owners and their dogs than take on larger noise problems.

I do not think the women, who was persistently interfering with my time with my dog, was able to get the reaction she was hoping for. One of the woman’s comment was about the likelihood of getting resistance to her directive. This suggested to me that, she expected and wanted to instigate a scene to support her and Janice Regan’s agenda. Following and filming a person without permission is what I would consider harassment. When you ask a person to quiet there dog and then berate them long afterwards, then you have not made a polite request. Maybe she should be banned from the beach. There are all kinds of intelligent solutions to problems that do not require negatively impacting the well being of other and other creatures.

How about we keep a green belt along beaches and not permit people to build homes along them. That would lesson noise and create a better environment for birds and all other creature. Just jesting…I know some people need to feel entitled and control others and the spaces they want dominion over.

I do hope the CBRA takes advantage of the offer from Mark Hawkes of the Citizen Canine Dog Owners Association. I think a win/win solution is possible from his organization.

Kind Regards,

Tammy DeMings

Sent from my iPad