Save access to Penny, BC
Save access to Penny, BC
URGENT UPDATE: Please call Michelle at Ministry of Transportion with your concerns! They plan to take down the sign. If they do not hear from people either in writing nothing will be done about this. Michelle Ministry of Transportion 250-645-9663. All landowners need to speak out. Last chance folks!
Good morning Pennyites and those with ties to Penny!
I want to discuss an important issue that I'm not sure everyone is aware of.
As many of you know we have all seen this view as we drove out Highway 16 East and then turned at the highways dept green sign marked "Penny Access Road". For the last 70 or so years this has been our access to Penny. You park on the town side on the landing then go by boat or canoe to the landing on the other side.
Recently without our knowledge the property that holds the landing on the highway side sold to a new private owner. They decided that they didn't want anyone driving onto the landing so have put up a gate on the access road and blocked off the landing and parking area from residents.
Since blocking it off YRB has refused to clear or maintain the access road from the highway in ...as it no longer leads to the river or provides access to Penny residents. The road has now just become a long private driveway of sorts.
The road is in shambles and we last heard there are approximately 100 trees it.
There are different aspects to this issue:
1) There is now no legal access to Penny whatsoever. The back road is plowed in the winter but not maintained by the government and they do not consider it legal access.
2) There is no highway access in case of an emergency, or in case of a fire blocking the back road there is no escape.
3) The people of Penny are taxed as are all the other small towns along the way however we are the only ones without phone, power or access. We are in between Longworth and Dome Creek (who have all services) but seem to be the forgotten land.
4) The access road from the highway is marked, but highways now suddenly cannot find it on a map? Does anyone happen to have a map handy with the Penny road marked on it? That would be a good place to start.
With all of that said: Would you please comment here with your support and thoughts? Do you want the road opened back up and the government to take notice of our lack of access? Should someone have been able to purchase a piece of property that our 70 year history of access is on? Should the government be able to prove this road is grandfathered in and expropriate this land from the owner who is preventing access?
This will be a hard conversation, but it needs to be had.
As of today Shirley Bond office is aware. This has been going on for a year and no one had let her know. She is an incredible advocate for the people of the North and I am certain she will help.