Letter: Potlatch Application

Tuesday, September 13 2016

Dear Sounder Editor,

The data regarding parkland on Gabriola compared to all other Gulf Islands can be found on the Islands Trust website. We have less than most other islands. If we accept the preserve and protect mandate of the Islands Trust, then the density transfer proposal presently under consideration is exactly the best way forward for Gabriola.

Cox Community Park (113 acres) was agreed to through a community referendum and we will pay for it through our tax dollars until 2027.

We have the opportunity to use the density transfer tool of the Official Community Plan to protect high quality natural areas, as was envisioned by the trustees of the 1990’s. The 707 Community Park was created using the density transfer process. 

I believe for the majority of Gabriola residents and visitors, our parks and trails are a huge asset to this community. Lots adjacent to parks and trails will have increased property value for the owners. 

The Potlatch/Henning application proposes 25 small acreage lots in the 167.5 acre application area. This is not a small lot-urban style-high density subdivision like the ones we already have in the Burnside/Lockinvar area or the Rollo/McLay area or Phase 4, etc. with as many as 50 to 70 lots in 40 acres. 

We are being asked as a community to allow 25 proposed acreages ranging in size from three to nine acres, to be developed on 167.5 acres near the Village Core, in return for 384 acres of additional protected land, riparian zone protection and connecting trails for our future. This is a win for the community. 

The 25 lots will need to meet health authority and other subdivision standards, and prove water and septic capacity. If lots cannot prove water and septic there will be fewer and larger lots. The public road connection proposed between Spruce and Church roads makes sense, will save lives, will support the climate change objectives in our OCP, and will be built without our taxes dollars. 

The Potlatch/Henning density transfer application will not succeed without you. If you see the future benefits, if you want a large contiguous area of preserved forest land, riparian protection, parks and trails connectivity to the Village core, then please write in support to the Local Trust Committee, by email to  GabriolaIslandLocalTrustCommittee@islandstrust.bc.ca

~ Kerry Marcus