Monday, July 29, 2013

Big dock gets its shaft - and so does the view

Don Ho's dock at the Cape

The big dock at Lot 13 at Cape Roger Curtis started getting its decking today.  From Collingwood Point the view of the Cape lighthouse from the point now has a line drawn straight across it.  It's as if the iconic view of a lonely lighthouse atop a rocky point has been cancelled out.  There is now nowhere on Bowen where the view of the north side of the Cape does not include this pier.  And should the current applications go ahead, another will be built between this one and the Cape.

It continues to be laughable that advertisements like this one are still in circulation:


In fact, even the views don't last forever.  At this rate the thing that is going to last the longest will be the general animosity towards the owners and the heartbreak of a huge section of the community, the cynical indifference of another huge section of the community and the perverse glee of our local libertarians. In fact the view on the cover of the developer's own design guidelines is actually different now because of this single dock.  

Speaking of which, I was cruising through these design guidelines and see how many of them have been simply broken by this one dock, let alone five more docks.  A sample, to which I have added some commentary:

  • "The southwest corner of the Bowen Island [sic] is afforded longer hours of afternoon sun while sunsets at The Cape on Bowen are unparalleled, silhouetting the Cape Lighthouse against he backdrop of the Gulf Islands."  Unparalleled in the sense that there is now a 363 foot wharf structure perpendicularly included in that view.
  • "The fulfilment of these concepts...will see a neighbourhood defined by grace and generosity."  I am gobsmacked that this is actually in the design guidelines.  I await with baited breath, the practice of grace and generosity in this whole debacle.  
  • "Spectacular views abound from the wild terrain and ocean's edge, intended to be captured through home siting and architectural forms and celebrated at key locations for shared community enjoyment." I'm not sure what is happening right now meets the owner's definition of a "celebration" by the community.  Unless you count the Stop the Docks parties at Pebble Beach.
  • "Preserve, protect and enhance existing natural features, including views." It's just not happening folks.  It's as if the docks are responding to a guideline to "create a massive personal moorage irrespective of its impact on your view, your neighbour's view or the views of the community."  There.  Fixed that for you. 
  • They actually identify the foreshore as a "conversation area."  The designers say that these areas "have been established as a mechanism to protect environmentally sensitive and archaeologically significant areas in accordance with Provincial legislation and and Conservation Covenants registered on the title of the property." Except go ahead and build a honking great dock there if you want.  
These design guidelines were created way back in 2010 so perhaps they have been forgotten or set aside now, except that they are still on the developer's website and they are right now being violated by the developer's own private dock.