A massive swath of land near the Nanaimo Parkway will be dedicated as park space after all.
During a council meeting on Monday, city councillors voted 7-1 in favour of a bylaw calling for 96 hectares of city-owned property, located at 801, 1150 and 1151 Nanaimo Lakes Rd., to be dedicated specifically as parkland.
The move comes after councillors failed to pass the park dedication bylaw in June, due to a single opposing vote by Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay. The bylaw required at least two-thirds majority of council approval in order to pass and McKay’s opposing vote meant that council fell one vote shy of the required six votes.
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During Monday’s meeting, Coun. Jim Kipp made the motion to reconsider council’s previous decision on the park dedication bylaw, explaining that he wasn’t at the meeting when it was originally voted on.
McKay told councillors that he still could not vote in favour of the motion and couldn’t understand why council won’t consider allocating some of the nearly 100 hectares of former Greater Nanaimo Water District property for affordable housing.
“I still find it hard to believe that we couldn’t find 10 to 15 per cent of that to use for affordable housing,” he said.
Coun. Bill Yoachim, who had previously told the News Bulletin that he would be bringing the bylaw up for reconsideration at a future council meeting, was absent from Monday’s meeting.