Residents of Mudge want same lot coverage allowance as Gabriola

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, July 18 2017

Mudge Islanders are asking, once again, that the Gabriola Local Trust Committee examine the difference in lot restrictions between Mudge Island and Gabriola Island.

This was at the July meeting of the LTC, held this past Thursday on Mudge Island rather than on Gabriola; an annual  occurrence since the first year of this term.

An overall review of both Mudge Island’s and DeCourcy Island’s Official Community Plan (OCP) has been on the LTC projects list for a number of years.

As explained by the Trustees and staff at the meeting, staff work on projects which are on the top priorities list. The rest of the projects on the list (which do not appear in order of importance in the LTC agenda) are left as future projects which might be moved onto the top priorities list when a project there is completed.

Most of the Mudge Islanders at this past Thursday’s meeting would like to have an overall OCP review done.

Some were saying the biggest issue to deal with is how little lot coverage is allowed on a half-acre lot on Mudge Island as compared to the same size lot on Gabriola.

Lot coverage means the total area of a lot covered by buildings and structures, which can include cisterns and other storage tanks.

On Mudge, the maximum lot coverage is 10 per cent. On Gabriola, it is 20 per cent.

With the idea that there may never be a time when the Mudge OCP as a whole is reviewed, Mudge resident Doug MacDonald asked, “If we wanted to amend one issue, is the instrument potentially available for us? Could we do it on a piece by piece basis?”

As the Trustees and staff explained, even dealing with a single issue would require that particular issue to be a project on the top priorities list.

Trustees were asked that if all the property owners on Mudge Island were to sign a petition requesting a specific change be made, would that be one way of dealing with it.

Trustee O’Sullivan said that if a petition were to come forward with signatures by all property owners on Mudge, that would be a strong message for the LTC to consider making such a change.

She and Trustee Melanie Mamoser pushed staff on whether there could be a call-out for members to renew the Mudge Advisory Planning Commission (APC).

As staff pointed out, there are no referrals currently to put before a Mudge APC.

O’Sullivan said, “An APC could discuss a new survey for residents along the lines of the previous community profiles and values report so there would be a starting place for consideration for revising the OCP.”

Staff said forming an APC would have to be on the top priorities list.

MacDonald said he appreciated the Trustees wanting to take on looking at the values, “but I’m not sure that’s where we’re at on the island.

“The concern was the really restrictive issue on the lots - the lowest percentage of coverage in the Trust.”

A notice seeking volunteers to be on a Mudge APC appeared in the July 25 edition of the Sounder.