Islands Trust provides facts sheet for Potlatch density transfer application

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, October 11 2016

The Potlatch Density Transfer application will once again be on the agenda for the Gabriola Local Trust Committee this coming Thursday.

To provide a clear and accurate description of the application, and to foster meaningful public participation in the associated consultation process, Trust staff have posted a ‘Facts’ sheet on the Islands Trust web site.

It has been written in plain language - rather than the language typically used by planners when creating reports for Trustees.

The document answers (from the Islands Trust perspective) a number of the most common questions staff have been asked about the application.

This includes a desription of the mechanics of the proposed density transfer, zoning, average lot size, et cetera.

There is also a section about the covenant which would restrict the developer to building only 25 lots on the property.

According to staff, “The restrictive covenant would be required to be registered prior to final approval of the rezoning by the Gabriola Island Local Trust Committee, and would include the proposed subdivision plan showing the number, location and size of future lots as well as proposed roads and parkland.”

Further sections explain what a strata development is in relation to the application.

It also addresses whether the application is a ‘high density’ development stating, “this development would not be considered to be a high density development. A typical urban residential density is 12-15 lots per hectare (5-6 lots/acre). The proposed development would have a density of one lot per 2.7 hectares (one lot/6.6 acres.). In comparison, there are other areas on Gabriola Island which have higher densities than the development proposed. For example, the Harrison Way and Lackhaven neighbourhoods have densities of 4 lots per hectare (0.25 hectare/0.5 acre lots).”

The subject of the roads, off Taylor Bay and Church Road, is also addressed, clarifying that the ‘road’ off Taylor Bay will be a common property (shared driveway) for the private lots it connects to.

The Church to Spruce Road would be a dedicated public road, which would need to satisfy all MOTI requirements. 

With regard to the Church Road, another question is asked of staff, “I’ve heard that if we don’t accept this proposal, the Islands Trust can just expropriate the land to create an emergency route between Church and Spruce. Is that true? And if so, why haven’t we already done it?” 

The answer, according to staff, is that, “by virtue of its enabling legislation, the only service that the Islands Trust may provide is land use planning. 

“The Islands Trust may not provide park or road services and therefore has no ability or legal authority to expropriate lands for road or trail purposes.”

The entire document is provided on the Islands Trust web site, and is also available in hard copy at the Trust Office located on North Road.