Parksville mayor Ed Mayne wants the regional district to review the possibility of creating a trail from Parksville to Rathrevor Beach Provincial Park.
Mayne, who also serves as Parksville director in the Regional District of Nanaimo, provided notice of motion at the regular board meeting on Nov. 12.
He amended his original motion to give the directors a clearer idea of what he hoped to be done. The proposed trail starts from the Englishman River to the Orange Bridge parallel to Plummer Road and ends at the entrance of Rathrevor Park Road. He asked the board to direct staff to conduct a review and come up with a report to be presented to the Regional Parks and Trails Select Committee.
The board passed the amended motion with Electoral Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Arrington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) director Leanne Salter voting against.
“Where that trail ends on the other side in Area G, is private property,” Salter explained. “And the property owner has no intentions of allowing any trail of any sort going through his property in Area G… It’s going to cost time and money for staff to try and create a report to bring back to the board. And the report will be, they can’t do it because it’s private property.”
Salter also indicated that she’s been getting emails from Area G residents who are not interested in such a trail.
Nanaimo director Tyler Brown wanted to know how much it would cost for RDN staff to conduct the review.
Tom Osborne, general manager of Recreation and Parks for the Regional District of Nanaimo, said he’s unable to give an estimate because it entails working with Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and the City of Parksville. He said the fundamental issue is whether to use the bridge or not. He went on to clarify that Mayne’s trail suggestion is different from the past trail reviews done by Parksville.
“Plummer Road does run adjacent to the river but there’s also a bend towards of what we know as Log Cabin,” said Osborne. “My understanding from this motion it would be really coming from Orange Bridge following along the highway through to the park entrance, along that bend on Plummer Road to Log Cabin.”
The past reviews done by Parksville Osborne said involves crossing over the river and then running down Plummer Road into San Pareil.
“This is a different approach,” said Osborne, who added that there’s public land on the Parksville side and on Area G side.
Mayne said that Parksville has been contributing to the regional parks for a long time.
“We should have a lot of money,” said Mayne. “We’ve been paying since 1967 and haven’t taken a penny out of the fund. So we should have a few bucks for us to do it, at least a review on this. And as far as the comments on where it was, we’ve got to know what we’re talking about before we criticize and this has nothing to do with what happened back in the previous council. This is a totally different spot.”