RDN has request list for Spruce/Church receiver lands

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, April 25 2017

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) and Islands Trust staff are continuing to work with the applicants for the Church-Spruce road density transfer application as the application bylaws make their way through the next steps in the process.

Howard Houle, RDN Director for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, Decourcy) said senior RDN staff and Islands Trust staff  met with applicant Brian Henning to discuss the details of what the receiver parcel parkland would look like.

Houle confirmed the Gabriola Health Care Foundation will be taking on the financial responsibility of keeping a flight path clear within the proposed park area for the helicopter landing pad at the Gabriola Health Care Centre, if the density transfer application is approved.

This was confirmed in communications from the Trust office, RDN, and Health Care Foundation representatives.

A covenant will be signed between the applicants and the Foundation allowing the Foundation to conduct trimming work within the park area after the receiver park is established - Henning has said in public meetings that will be when the first subdivision of the receiver lands is put in place.

Houle said there was some concern from the RDN because the flight path on the current mapping for the trimming covenant looks like it includes part of the existing Cox Community Park.

“Henning has offered to give us better aerial mapping, to determine what the height of the trees can be.

“The covenant says the Foundation must use a certified arborist to trim the trees and dispose of the material that is cut off.”

The deadline for all of the details for the receiver lands park proposal is before the next meeting of the Area B Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC). POSAC had been scheduled to meet on May 15, but that meeting has been delayed by the rDN to a date yet to be determined.

Houle said the meeting also saw a discussion about the proposed trails on the receiver parcel.

“The RDN wants to see the trails physically separated from the driveway coming off Taylor Bay Road as well as Burnside and Lockinvar.”

Houle said the RDN is also asking for the establishment of a trailhead off of the proposed Spruce-Church connector with a parking lot and associated amenities - the exact location is yet to be determined. 

“Likely next to the helicopter pad, that eliminates the issues with some of the trees. We’ve asked the applicant to construct that as well as the off-road trail.”

There has also been a request on the part of the RDN that the applicants build a bridge or boardwalk to connect Cox Park through to the trail which heads to Burnside Road.

Houle said the applicants have been asked to flag where the viewpoint at the end of proposed ‘Trail #4’ will be on the bluff overlooking the Horseshoe/Sandwell area.

“So when we do the site visit with POSAC, we’d like to know where that is because we’re a little unsure.”