Fifteen years ago April Point Developments submitted a subdivision application for phase one of, what was at the time, a three-phase development proposal for a 134 acre parcel on Quadra Island. This application triggered a requirement that the developer dedicate close to 7 acres as parkland. The matter was thought to have been finally settled last summer, when the SRD Board accepted April Point’s parkland dedication offer – but the developer made some revisions.
There were more questions than answers when this matter came before the SRD Board on May 10.
When no one offered to discuss the matter, Chair Mark Baker (MB) called what turned out to be a premature vote.
“All in favour … Opposed .. seeing none, carried in electoral areas only that the revised proposal for Parkland dedication from April Point Developments be accepted, as outlined on May 10th, 2023. Report from the CAO.”
CAO David Leitch (DL) pointed out, “We don’t have a mover on the motion.”
MB: “Oh, we don’t have a mover on the motion yet, sorry. So we have electoral areas only. There’s a motion.”
None of the rural DIrectors responded.
DL: “There’s no mover of the motion yet.”
MB: “Then the motion is defeated, is that not correct? Technically, it has never been made.”
DL: “So this comes from the Electoral Areas Services Committee, that had supported the motion, correct?”
April Point is in Area C, and after a pause Robyn Mawhinney, the Regional Director of Area C, expressed her hesitation.
“I notice that this report doesn’t contain the previous iterations of the report that, generally, reports carry along with them. This is an updated version of an application for a park proposal, but there were no previous iterations of the park proposal included in the report. I was curious if somebody from staff could explain to me the material differences between this iteration of the proposed park and earlier versions, as to the size and the walkability. I noticed that most of it is a wetland which are critical for percolating water into the aquifer, and I appreciate that the wetland is being preserved as a park,” she explained.
“I am curious how this trail will be built, and also maintained. And I’m further curious if a group such as Quadra Island Trails Committee, which is an active group on Quadra Island with much experience designing lines of trails, if they’ve been consulted or if there has been other ground truthing from staff or locals, or if it has been mainly from the proponent and designer, who is in Vancouver.”
Senior Manager Aniko Nelson replied, “I can’t speak to why the previous reports weren’t attached to this report, but in any event the size of the parcel that is being proposed is the same as previously. There’s a small pinch point which has been created, as part of additional surveying and a current road sighting and a bluff.”
“The proposal has been amended slightly, to allow that road and bluff to be outside of the park area. The area 2.78 hectares remains the same as does the overall trail length of 1,430 metres.”
“There’s no proposal at this time to construct trails, as this is a requirement for park dedication only. The Regional District is not in the position to require development of trails at this time. This is outstanding park dedication as part of a previous subdivision, and a current covenant that is on title requiring them to provide this park dedication prior to any further developments in the area.”
RM: “I was just curious because the maps really highlight a lot of trails and you’re talking about 1400 meters of trails, but then you’re also saying that there is no requirement for the trails to actually be built.”
AN: “So, that would happen down the road if additional development was to occur as part of a rezoning application. Staff could ask for that as a community amenity, or if that development doesn’t occur in the near future, we could put forward a proposal to develop the trails through the park service through a capital project and funded either through requisition or gas tax.”
Regional Director Gerald Whalley suggested, “Director Mawhinney, if you want to kick the cat around some more, you can always refer it back to the electoral areas (committee) or, if not, you can make the motion.”
Director Mawhinney decided, “I will move that the revised proposal for parkland dedication from April Point Developments be accepted, as outlined in the May 10th report from the chief administrative officer.”
Whalley seconded the motion.
Chair Baker called the vote, “Electoral Areas only, All in favor? … Opposed? … Seeing none, carried.”
The minutes state that board voted to accept the revised proposal for parkland dedication from April Point Developments Ltd.
There are still outstanding questions about the amount of community input on this project, and whether the proposed trails will actually be built.
Top photo credit: One of Quadra Island’s animal residents – Photo courtesy www.yakari-travel.de via Fliokr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)
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