The Area Planning Commission of CVRD Lazo North/Area B has read with interest the May 6 coverage of the exchange between Mayor Phelps, Coun. Ambler and director Jim Gillis.
As residents of the Comox Valley and as an officially appointed body of the CVRD board, we have the following comments with regard to the the Harbour View Landing condo project.
The Area Planning Commission received a presentation from the Alberta-based group at the early stages of the RGS and sustainability strategy considerations. The condo complex is quite innovative and we discussed at the time that if the Little River area became a “node” to development, this complex was interesting to consider.
We were, however, very concerned about the numbers of new residents, potential drainage issues, recent mudslides from unstable ground along Wilkinson Road below this potential project, and the increased problems of new traffic patterns along with the present ferry traffic already in the Little River area.
As the RGS effort moved forward, we as a commission believed the City of Courtenay must first complete density within its city limits. However, Courtenay continues to seek ways to increase its tax base by annexing rural areas.
This condo development would fit well within the city boundaries. There are numerous areas that would still offer marine and estuary viewscapes for the developer and the high-end clients it would attract.
There was a clear message given to the board at the public meeting on the RGS, especially by the residents of the rural districts.
We want to keep the rural districts rural and want to see the urban centres increase their density. After this densification occurs, it would then seem appropriate to look at Settlement Expansion Areas.
We believe that we represent the residents of the Little River and Jackson Heights area. We have in 2011 no interest in being annexed by the City of Courtenay.
If at some time in the future there is a desire, we hope it would be acted on by residents of the area through their elected representative, not by the adjacent city or a developer with an agenda quite different from the residents.
Editor’s note: Jack Bush is the chair of the Area Planning Commission for Lazo North/Area B.