Potlatch asked to include 3.5ha remainder with donor lands

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, November 15 2016

The Gabriola Island Local Trust Committee is asking staff to consult with the Potlatch density transfer applicants to see if the 3.5 hectare (8.5 acre) remainder parcel off Coats Road can be included as part of the parkland dedication.

Currently, the 3.5ha parcel is proposed to be kept as private land outside of the density transfer donor lands.

The donor lands under discussion. The yellow highlighted area is the remainder Trustees are asking to have included in the park donation of the application. The rest of the property (surrounded by red lines) is the land between the southeast corner of the 707 Community Park and Coats Marsh Regional Park. Islands Trust map.

 

The Regional District of Nanaimo Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC) members, as well as RDN staff, had identified the watershed within 3.5ha as critical to the overall environmental and ecological well-being of the donor lands, as well as Coats Marsh.

Trustee Melanie Mamoser said she is generally supportive of the Potlatch application, but she had a few issues to address, including the remainder parcel.

“It seems to me, based on the report from POSAC, that the remainder is an important part of the puzzle to achieving the conservation goals for Coats Marsh and maintaining existing trail networks.”

She noted the public support for the application stems from the ecological benefits of having watershed and habitat protection around Coats Marsh.

“By subdividing this residential parcel out of the larger forestry parcel, we’re creating fragmentation in the park, resulting from access lines, roads and residential development, and residential development can affect the hydrology of the land. 

“Given the applicant is benefiting under this proposal from two additional densities/residential lots beyond what would be considered density-neutral through the re-designation of the Forestry parcel to Resource - to permit the creation of the eight view lots - it is my hope that the applicant will continue to show a willingness to listen to the community and work with the LTC so that this application can be as close to a win/win for both parties as possible.”

Mamoser made the motion to ask staff to ask the applicant to include the remaining 3.5ha parcel on the donor land in the application for re-designation/rezoning to Park/Forest/Wilderness Recreation.

Trustee O’Sullivan seconded her motion, and all three members of the LTC voted in favour of the motion.