MOTI says developer would bear cost of Church-Spruce connector

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, July 26 2016

The cost of road improvements to existing sections of Church Road and Spruce Avenue will be borne by the proponents of the density transfer application currently before the Gabriola Local Trust Committee (LTC).

That according to Kate Mukasa with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI).

Mukasa was asked about the roads after the application was discussed at a special meeting of the LTC this past Thursday afternoon.

Questions have come forward from Gabriolans asking that if the connection between Church and Spruce is built, what kind of road would be put in there.

Trust staff clarified that while other roads within the application (such as the one off Taylor Bay Road) are being proposed as strata (common property), the Church-Spruce connector would be a fully public roadway under the jurisdiction of MOTI.

Trustees voted in favour of sending an early referral of the application to MOTI at the Thursday meeting.

Mukasa was asked how MOTI makes a decision on whether the existing sections of Spruce and Church need to be upgraded, as well as what type of road should be built for the new section.

And who pays for it. 

Mukasa said, “At this time, the ministry’s development approvals staff have not received a subdivision proposal for this location and are therefore unable to comment on project details.

“Typically, however, the ministry evaluates each subdivision proposal as it is received, and makes a recommendation for either preliminary layout approval or non-approval. 

Decisions regarding road building and upgrades to existing road networks are based on the nature and extent of the subdivision proposal, and are part of these recommendations.

“Any requirements for road building or network upgrades are included in the preliminary layout approval, and the costs for meeting these conditions are borne by the developer.”

The roads off Taylor Bay Road into the western portion of the proposed subdivision will not be MOTI roads, but rather strata/common property roads.

Trust Planner Rob Milne said that for all intents and purposes, MOTI will treat those accesses like driveways - requiring the developer to meet all requirements for emergency vehicle entry and egress, as well as how the accesses fit into the flow of traffic on Taylor Bay Road.

“With the Church-Spruce connection, [MOTI] won’t so much recommend what happens there as much as dictate.”

Trustee Melanie Mamoser said she has heard the concerns of islanders who see a strata road as creating a gated community.

“What say do we have as an LTC to say what development model the applicant decides on?”

Milne said the bare-land strata is an acceptable method of subdivision in BC.

According to Milne, there will be an access covenant on the property guaranteeing the community access to the “common” sections of the strata property. 

“That stays with the land, not the owner.”