Letter: Potlatch proposal

Tuesday, January 24 2017

The second reading of the density transfer application bylaws cleared the air re: the number of lots to be developed (25), the amount of parkland (383 acres) to be set aside, and construction of the much needed connector between Spruce Avenue and Spruce Street.

A hydrological report has been commissioned, and further work on the proposed trail system to meet the needs of GALT and the RDN is underway.   

Hopefully these actions will move this application one step closer to approval, providing numerous benefits to individuals and organizations on Gabriola that have been detailed many times. ( GALT, PHC, GERTIE, Gabe Fire Dept., Gabe Ratepayers, Ambulance Society, the Gabriola Health Care Foundation, the RCMP, Emergency Services, Gabe Chamber of Commerce.) 

As an environmental consultant I have worked on forestry issues for more than 25 years. During that time I have designed and successfully negotiated the implementation of numerous protected areas for important forest and wetland habitats . In my professional opinion, the environmental benefits of this proposal far outweigh any potential negative impacts. 

I believe the rules and regulations surrounding the development permit process will adequately protect groundwater, sewage treatment and related concerns. 

BTW, my well is fuller than it has ever been, and my neighbour says he has not had this much water in a decade; it is the amount of rain that falls which determines the supply. Local aquifers run dry whether or not they are pumped; that is how gravity works. Water runs downhill, and the cracks in the rock dry out.

Finally, where are the protests about making the size of second homes much larger on five-acre lots? This bylaw change will attract more density, use more water, create more traffic, use local and regional services more fully, require more sewage treatment, yet not a peep from naysayers. But then a lot of local property owners stand to make a buck on this one, but I guess they are not in the same category as a full-blown developer. Or are they?

Yours truly,

~ Dave Neads, Forest Ridge