Editorial: Planning key to solving Cowichan Bay’s problems

A previous lack of planning has already led to some pitfalls

A previous lack of planning has already led to some pitfalls, so the Cowichan Valley Regional District is on the right track with their move to come up with a plan to guide Cowichan Bay into the future.

Cowichan Bay is a special spot in the Cowichan Valley.

Cutting edge mom and pop businesses along the waterfront have created a unique atmosphere for the community, one that was enshrined under the Cittaslow designation.

From ice cream to baked goods, wine and cheese to restaurants and kayak rentals the funky, hyper-local, take a breath and enjoy a slower pace vibe of the bay has made it one of the most-enjoyed destinations in the region. But it’s not all about tourism. While tourists are certainly welcome, whether they come by land or sea, Cowichan Bay is decidedly a place primarily built by and for the locals.

One can see that it developed organically over the years, which in some ways is wonderful, but in other ways has caused woes as it is discovered by more and more people — those who come for a day or a week, or those who move in for the long haul.

So planning at this stage can only be a good thing to make sure the bay continues to be a place where people want to come.

Anything to improve the nightmare that is attempting to park in Cowichan Bay is more than welcome.

There is not nearly enough parking (though due to geographical features —a cliff on one side and the ocean on the other — it’s unclear how much can ever been done on that score), and what is there is often awkward and tight.

Also, making sure it is walkable — getting people out of their cars is desirable — will be key to the future of the village. Tromping along the side of a busy, narrow road is not ideal, but is the reality for sections of the community at present.

The success of the planning process will depend on the community.

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