Kensington hoping for water approval

Brian McMahon hopes 2012 means "lucky 13" for Kensington Island Properties in Union Bay.


Brian McMahon hopes 2012 means “lucky 13” for Kensington Island Properties, which has a large chunk of acreage awaiting development in Union Bay.

“I think that we’re going to be moving forward this year,” said McMahon, vice-president of KIP. “I think we’ll have the Union Bay water system upgraded this year, we’ll have the wastewater treatment plant beginning to be installed this year, and I think you’ll see equipment and manpower working on the site.”

The company has planned to build houses, a golf course, a marina walkway, and a series of parks and trails since purchasing 1,000-plus acres in Union Bay more than 10 years ago. Last spring, KIP and the Union Bay Improvement District ratified a Water Treatment Infrastructure Agreement worth $1.7 million. In 2009, following a legal challenge by the Baynes Sound Area Society for Sustainability, KIP’s original bylaws were thrown out by the B.C. Supreme Court, putting the project back to square one. Later in the year, it received third reading for the fourth time at the inaugural Comox Valley Regional District meeting. The company appeared to have received the green light in 2010 when the CVRD board approved a master development agreement.

However, Kensington needed to reapply for expired development permits, and update storm water management, water and sewer servicing plans.

The latest stumbling block has been a jurisdictional dispute between the UBID and the district over the transfer of the water licence, which belongs to the province.

“The purveyor of water is Union Bay Improvement District,” McMahon said. “They have been the supplier and distributor of water. The regional district has demanded the licence be turned over to them. The reality is it has nothing to do with us, but it has prevented us from putting the water upgrades in.”

The issue could be resolved at a Thursday meeting when the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development considers UBID water supply assets.

“It’s up to the province now to do something, and I believe that meeting is happening this Thursday,” McMahon said. “I think it’s going to be resolved then.”

If it is, Union Bay residents will be “happy campers” because the town will have new filtration, chlorination and water systems.

“Our agreement with Union Bay Improvement District is that we will upgrade the water system to meet the province’s 4-3-2-1-0 process,” McMahon said.


Comox Valley Record