Clayburn wants more consultation on stormwater plan

Residents of Clayburn Village, who are tired of recent flooding incidents, are not happy with the public consultation process regarding the long-awaited Clayburn Creek Integrated Stormwater Management Plan (ISMP).

Residents of Clayburn Village, who are tired of recent flooding incidents, are not happy with the public consultation process regarding the long-awaited Clayburn Creek Integrated Stormwater Management Plan (ISMP).

More than 40 villagers signed a petition and sent it to council, expressing concerns regarding the plan and calling the consultation process “flawed and unacceptable.” The petition goes on to say that “consultation has never occurred.”

The document asks council to hold a townhall-style meeting at Clayburn School, so all members of the village can provide input.

The Clayburn Creek ISMP was initiated in June of 2009 and is 90 per cent complete. The plan examines the entire watershed, including the Sumas Mountain area, and Clayburn residents are hoping it will shed some light on the recent flooding.

Neil Carson, a resident of Clayburn Village and creator of a flood website (www.clayburnflood.ca) said more than 20 homes are at risk, as well as the historic church and school.

“Flood insurance is not available to us because of our area,” he said.

Flooding in Clayburn is not a new issue. The village is located on a flood plain, however, the problem has been more frequent in the last decade.

Carson said the villagers are most affected by the flooding and deserve to be heard, but “meaningful consultation has not been realized.”

The last consultation event hosted by the city took place on June 29, 2011. However, it occurred during the Canada Post lockout and many residents of the watershed did not receive the invitation. But, according to the city, approximately 50 people still turned out, including Clayburn residents.

Many residents believe development on Sumas Mountain is to blame for the flooding, but the preliminary findings of the ISMP don’t support that theory.

It lists sediment build-up in Clayburn Creek, and a lack of maintenance and vegetation growth along the creek as more likely causes.

Carson and the rest of the petitioners don’t agree with those findings.