It should be a charming area, but some locals are referring to an oceanside neighbourhood in Area B as ‘Misery Point.’
Denny Road residents Dave and Barbara Mellin are unhappy with their neighbour, Ray Shannon, who they said has placed boulders, posts and other obstructions on a public access at Harvard Road, making it appear to be private property.
The issue has been dragging on for about 20 years — and the Mellins are fed up.
“Enough’s enough,” Dave said. “It just seems to go on and on…You just can’t go and do whatever you want on it.”
Shannon’s property line touches Harvard Road, an unopened road right of way that provides beach access.
“I have no comments to make on it all, except to say I do live here and I’m not aware of any issues that may have been mentioned,” Shannon said. “It would have been entirely up to the individuals who were talking (to the press). There have been some comments about whether or not landscape boulders were in place. That is extremely negligible…Any work that I have done here has always been with a permit. So I have no issues because of that.”
The B.C. Transportation Ministry (MOTI) has the right of way at the Harvard Road access, but the regional district has permission to use about a metre of it as a pathway to the beach.
“That has been maintained by us,” said Area B director Rod Nichol, who is working with MOTI to help defuse what has become a “toxic” situation.
Years ago, Nichol said Fisheries and Oceans Canada granted Shannon permission to install creosoted telephone poles to protect his shoreline, but Mellin said his neighbour went about 20 feet too far.
Mellin feels a parking lot should be constructed on Harvard, considering the lack of parking on the narrow Denny Road.
“The problem could be fixed in two hours with a Bobcat,” he said.
The CVRD is forwarding a budget request in 2017 to construct three parking spaces, as requested by the neighbourhood, said Anne MacDonald, general manager of planning and development services.
“I think what’s critical here and what residents want is access to the beach through that road right of way,” she said, noting Shannon was granted a number of approvals and permits, some dating back to 1997, to use the right of way.
The ministry said it is planning to install a fence within its right of way to more clearly distinguish private from public property, and is working with the property owner to determine the timing.