IMG_2137Thank you for allowing me the privilege of serving HSC as commodore for 2016. I thank Commodore Don Smith and the Executive for their stewardship of the club in 2015. As in the past, the incoming Commodore and executive take over the helm of a strong and vibrant club due to the efforts and dedication of their predecessors. I also thank the Executive members who are returning for another year. Your continued dedication to the club is greatly appreciated. HSC has and will continue to benefit from your experience and commitment. As we move into 2016 the club and training fleet are in good repair and has a strong membership. Thank you to past commodores and club executive for bringing HSC to this point.

With the endorsement of the Ambleside Waterfront Concept Plan, dated October 13th, 2015, for stakeholder and community consultation at the October 28th, 2015 Council Meeting, your Club has established a Civic Committee to deal with West Vancouver in the community consultation part of the plan.

Your Committee has met with Jim Bailey (Director of Planning, Land Development and Permits) and Andrew Banks (Senior Manager, Parks) at the Clubhouse where we reiterated the Club’s position on the need to have a collaborative consultation process with the other stakeholders; and went over the positive and negative issues that we, as a Committee, identified at our first meeting as well as the need for further studies that the Committee also identified. We also took the opportunity to show Jim and Andrew the workings of the Club and our needs. It was a cordial discussion. Jim assured us that the Club was part of any future plan: we responded that assurance was not necessary as, sure as a high and low tide, we were not going anywhere other than a few feet.

HSC at ADRA meetingHSC’s position is that all stakeholders should be consulted and that a business plan for all proposals should be done and made available to the stakeholders. One of the positions we stressed was that HSC encourages that the diversity of waterfront/ocean experiences should be maintained. For example, HSC is opposed to the closure of the public boat ramp unless other opportunities to launch trailer boats are provided. We suggested that an alternate “Destination” public boat launch could be provided under the Lions Gate Bridge, on Harbour’s lands, as it was in the past.

The outcome was that Jim intended to engage the Club as part of the consultative process. Your Civic Committee, and past Commodores Norah Corbet and Anne Baird attended the Ambleside Dundarave Ratepayers Association (ADRA-sponsored) event on the plan where Jim Bailey outlined the process and addressed comments posted by ADRA and the community (over 150 people, a packed house) attending. Jim, and the audience through their participation, indicated strong support for the Club. At the event, we learned that West Vancouver has a consultation process in place with a series of four open houses and a town hall meeting over the next 1-2 months. There was no recognition of a collaborative consultation with stakeholder’s process: rather the standard one-on-one you-tell-us and we/WV staff will go away and prepare the second draft of the plan. At the meeting, in almost every instance when questioned on some 20 comments posted, Jim responded that more consultation was needed and would occur. The ADRA meeting chair noted, as Commodore Don had suggested in his letter to the Council, that had there been initial consultation with the stakeholders, much of the questions would have been addressed in the initial draft of the plan.

IMG_20160127_193019Civic Committee members Heather Drugge, Executive members Denise Wheater, Andy Lumb, and I attended the first of the Open Houses presented by WV on the Ambleside Waterfront Plan, Wednesday, February 10th, 2016. In the handout provided, I was pleased to see that HSC has now become a “waterfront partner” and that the plan proposes a new or enhanced sailing club building. One of the “enhancements” to the club may include a more open boat storage area. Another significant change was that “The District will explore alternative locations for a ramp that can be used for motorized boats on trailers.”

After the presentation, speaking with Jim Bailey, Andy, Heather and I learned that Mr. Bailey considers the Clubhouse to be a unique waterfront structure worthy of perseveration. “Unique character” was the phrase he used. All of our discussions with him and have been very cordial and encouraging.

I believe that our HSC Civic Committee is being effective. As well as Wednesday February 17th, we will be attending the future meetings on Thursday February 25th and Tuesday March 1st. All these open houses are at the West Vancouver community Centre, Atrium.

If you want to check out the WV position for yourself there is a West Vancouver website about the AWDP, http://westvancouver.ca/government/mayor-council/councils-priorities/ambleside-waterfront-concept-plan-consultation.
West Vancouver has an on-line questionnaire that I encourage all members to fill out, and show support for your club: http://westvancouver.ca/westvancouverITE/ . Alternately, you can print this form and mail it back to the West Vancouver Council with your comments. It took me about ten minutes to do. It is the same questionnaire that was handed out at the presentation. Please support your Club in these changing times.

P1080046I have always been amazed by the level of volunteerism at the club. The example that best stays in my mind (because I was Rear Commodore at the time) is when the club members decided not to pay a company to replace the old past-its-prime cedar fence with a black chain-link fence. Over two work party weekends, the membership took down the old fence and built, from scratch, a new one. The Fall clean-up showed again that the spirit of volunteerism is still very strong and drawing on that strength, the best way that the members can help HSC with the Ambleside Community Plan is to continue to use the club facilities, demonstrating to West Vancouver Council just what a treasure HSC really is and how it adds greatly to the quality of life in West Vancouver.
Picture1P1080031On that note, I am very happy to see that the Club’s workshop is being used to the fullest…boats being readied for the May 1st Sailpast! (In my honour) Wonderful!

Apologies to “Team Coastal Express” (R2AK2015 & R2AK2016) who had to work on their Mirror 16 in the yard, due to lack of workshop space. Perhaps an Ambleside Waterfront Development Plan “enhancement” to the Clubhouse will accommodate more workshop space in the future. Cheers to Dan and Heather for entering The Race To Alaska 2016. Website: https://r2ak.com/prep-series2016/
A new event is being organized by Training Officer John Congdon that will help showcase HSC’s benefit to the community. Plans are to host the BC Sailing youth regatta, June 4/5th, 2016. I thank, in advance the members who have already volunteered to help run this event. Anyone else who would like to help can contact John directly.
We have a new WV flag to fly courtesy of Jim Bailey. Thank you! We are proud to fly it.

The Hollyburn Sailing club is the Best Sailing Club on the North Shore and I am lucky to be its Commodore. See you on the water soon,

Mike Bretner Commodore

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