Letter: GaLTT’s preliminary comments on the Rooks/Henning density transfer proposal

Tuesday, June 21 2016

The Gabriola Land and Trails Trust (GaLTT) Board was one of many community groups to host Dr. Robert Rooks and Brian Henning early in their density transfer project planning in 2015 and again in March 2016. They presented their plan, provided an opportunity to ask questions about the details, and listened to feedback from GaLTT’s perspective. The GaLTT Board feels that our input to date was used to improve both the conservation and community connectivity (trails) components of the proposal.

The GaLTT Board is strongly supportive of this density transfer proposal that will increase the preserved land base of Gabriola by approximately 384 acres. Much of the added parkland will adjoin the current boundaries of the 707 Community Park and the Coats Marsh Regional Park, including the head of the large marsh pond. The proposal aligns strongly with GaLTT’s mandate “...to secure, develop and sustain a network of parkland and trails on Gabriola Island for the benefit of the public...” The proposed trail corridors are also consistent with GaLTT’s keen interest in improving neighbourhood connectivity.

• New trail corridors are proposed between the Village Core, Taylor Bay Road area, Cox Community Park, Gabriola Medical Clinic and Horseshoe Road. These will provide both recreational opportunities and easy access to services for the northeast end of the island without the need of a vehicle, and support GaLTT’s Descanso to Drumbeg trail connection objective.

• New environmental protection measures will be afforded to Mallett Creek and the feeder pond adjacent to Cox Community Park.

• Options for a bluff view trail continue to be discussed, as well as future trail access to Horseshoe Road.

Other aspects of the application are of great interest to the community but are beyond the scope of GaLTT’s mandate.

We strongly encourage everyone in the community to attend the public meetings to become informed of the application details and to clearly voice your support in writing to our Island Trustees.

Sincerely,

Norm Harburn, President, and the GaLTT Board of Directors