92% of respondents in favour of rezoning Descanso wharf for water taxi use

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, August 14 2018

The preliminary results from the Islands Trust Water Taxi questionnaire have been released by staff as part of the agenda for the Gabriola Local Trust Committee meeting this Thursday.

92.23% of respondents were in favour of changing the zoning at the Descanso Bay wharf to allow for water taxi use.

In all, 213 responses were received by Trust staff.

85% of the respondents are full-time residents of Gabriola Island.

81.9% of respondents indicated strong support/support for changing the Land Use Bylaw to permit water taxi use within the WC3 zone.

Melanie Mamoser, Local Trustee, Gabriola Local Trust Area said, “thank you to all the community members who took the time to fill-out the survey.  These results are not surprising. They affirm community interest in amending our zoning to be more accommodating of this use. Next steps involve referring the project to the Advisory Planning Commission and then drafting bylaws for consideration. It is important to note that changing the bylaws would not automatically mean that this transportation option would become more readily available. However, increasing the opportunities for companies to legally operate could encourage future service.”

Respondent preference regarding water taxi use in the WC3 zone included:

• Descanso Bay – 92.23%

• Green Wharf – 69.95%

• Degnen Bay – 67.36%

Issues identified as having the highest level of importance included:

• Protection of the marine environment;

• Vehicle parking; and

• Pedestrian access and safety.

A full staff report is expected to be brought forward at the September 27 Local Trust Committee meeting, which will be the last LTC meeting prior to the October 20 local government elections.

A full staff report is expected to be brought forward at the September 27 Local Trust Committee meeting, which will be the last LTC meeting prior to the October 20 local government elections.