It’s November already and the 49th annual Roberts Creek Christmas Craft Fair is set to go on Friday, Nov. 23 through Sunday, Nov. 25 at Roberts Creek Community Hall and the Masonic Hall next door. This year there’ll be more than 50 craft booths, yummy food and, of course, a special raffle for the Hall’s Raise the Roof campaign. Last year hundreds of happy shoppers crowded both venues.
On another note entirely: “Just when it seems that the election season is over, there is one more – the election for the Roberts Creek Official Community Plan Committee,” says outgoing OCPC Chair John Gibbs. The election for community plan committee members will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 28 at the Roberts Creek Hall following the 7 p.m. Roberts Creek Community Association meeting.
“Volunteering for the OCPC is a good chance for residents to take an official role in the Creek without a heavy commitment and with a good chance of being elected,” John says. But, he adds, “Although the committee could be the starting point for a political career, it is a service position mostly. There is little glory in being a member of the OCPC.”
The committee, however, plays an important role in the Creek. “It is at the heart of the community, whether you want to make community or just better understand the community in which you live. You can use the position to advocate for issues you feel strongly about or you can simply examine the issues as they arise and evaluate them from the perspective of a Roberts Creek resident – what’s best for the community, taking the Official Community Plan as the guide,” John says.
The Roberts Creek Official Community Plan Committee is a permanent committee. Created by a Sunshine Coast Regional District bylaw in 2012, it is the only standing committee of its kind in the province.
“The job of committee members, simply put, is to monitor adherence to the community plan and advise the SCRD on development and rezoning issues and also to provide a forum for keeping the plan relevant. There is no power as such; the committee recommends but does not legislate. The committee has usually had a mix of long-term residents and those newly arrived, a real mix of ages,” John says.
The OCPC has eleven members serving two-year terms. This year there are seven spots open. To be elected, you must have lived in the Creek for at least one year. Some years new members are chosen by acclamation and some years by balloted election.
“The best way to assure you are elected is to bring a posse of supporters to vote for you,” John says.
The only requirement to vote in the Nov. 28 OCPC election is that you live in Roberts Creek. Throughout the year the committee meets on the second Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m. at Roberts Creek Elementary.
“There is a “nerdy” factor in that being a committee member involves determining what the community plan says about any particular issue,” John says. “But that can be just plain interesting,” he says.
“For example, the operators of both the bike shop on Roberts Creek Road and the distillery on Porter Road came to the OCPC as part of their rezoning processes and told their stories. (In both cases the OCPC recommended approval to the SCRD.) More recently and perhaps more controversially, the committee has been dealing with proposals to expand housing options, which involve balancing the current needs with the long-term community desire for a rural atmosphere.”
To send news about the activities of your Roberts Creek group, contact firstname.lastname@example.org before noon Mondays.