Dedicating park to RDN doesn’t take a subdivision

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, July 10 2018

Should anyone want their property to eventually be turned into a park on Gabriola, the Regional District of Nanaimo elected representative would like to hear from them. The discussion came up at the regular meeting of the RDN’s Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC) for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, Decourcy).

POSAC member Glenna Borsuk brought the topic to the agenda, saying that there is no current logical plan for park acquisition for Gabriola.

Most parks on Gabriola have come about following a subdivision.

Borsuk said, “I’ve been speaking to a couple of landowners about dedicating or leave their property [in their estate] for a park, if they were allowed to live on it.”

Elaine McCulloch, RDN Parks Planner said she couldn’t talk to a specific piece of property without going in camera, but there could be discussions with people about what kind of dedication made the most sense for what they were trying to achieve.

Borsuk asked if the topic could be explored with the community.

Howard Houle, RDN Director for Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, Decourcy) said, “this is for people who want to donate their land as a park?”

Borsuk said it could be anyone, who wanted to be able to put together a way for their property to be used as a park, or even set aside the property to be kept natural.

Houle and McCulloch said there were too many ways for the different purposes to be explored in one POSAC meeting, but that the best method would be for someone to contact either Houle or McCulloch and have a discussion about what they were envisioning. Houle said one way to set it up is for the RDN to sign a lifelease on a property, so the owner gets to continue living on the property until they die, then the property passes to the RDN as a park.

“Or it could be a straight up gift, saying when someone dies the land becomes an RDN park.  If someone has a proposal they would like to make - tell me about it.”