Talk to the owners

Derek Kilbourn

derek@soundernews.com

Monday, February 27 2012

Sustainable Gabriola (SG) has basically been told thanks, but no thanks (for now) by the Islands Trust when it comes to helping organize the stakeholders in further discussing the vision for the Village Core.
The SG members have done their due diligence though in stating to the trustees they would like to see more discussions by the community for the Village.
And unless someone decides to look for a re-zoning or variance on the properties in the core, there is little left for the Trust to do in working on that vision. The zoning is already in place. What is left now is speaking to the other governmental bodies who have authority there.
Like the Ministry of Transportation and the Regional District of Nanaimo.
And the actual property owners of the different properties. That is who should be the point people for SG should to get to a table. After all it was private developers who built what we now call the Village. It is those same private developers who are investing in the sustainability of the Village Core.
It is the RDN who has the authority on what happens to Huxley Park. It is the Commons who has the authority on creating a central hub which (both geographically and spiritually) connects the central parts of ‘downtown’ Gabriola to the rest of the island.
It is the MOT who has the ability to expand all the roadsides to make them more pedestrian and bicycle friendly. The lobbying required for that could come from the Trust. But it can also come from the property owners and public lobby groups like the Cyclepaths.
(The Cyclepaths being the group who took nine months to create a report which the Trust and MOT had taken almost 20 years to complete.)
If SG thinks it is the group to spearhead discussions which lead to more property and business owners meeting with each other, it should make those meetings happen. As evidenced by the success of the clinic, when Gabriolans decide to not wait for bureaucracy to catch up, great people show up and amazing things can happen.