Part of a decade old study pf Manson's Landing

Rezoning Hearing For Rainbow Ridge

Cortes Island’s best known housing project took another step towards realization at the January 29th, Strathcona Regional District Board meeting. The public hearing for rezoning a 2.45-hectare portion of the 20.75-hectare Rainbow Ridge property will be held in Mansons Hall at 1 PM on April 30, 2020. 

The Proposal

Area to be rezoned – from application

The Cortes Community Housing proposes to build up to 22 rental units on this portion of 935 Beasley Road, in Mansons Landing. This land is currently zoned for residential use, which limits development to 10 houses per hectare. The developers are seeking to have this parcel zoned for up to 12 units per hectare. According to the application

“The proposed development will consist of eight 1-bedroom units, eight 2-bedroom units and four 3-bedroom units, clustered in 8 different buildings between one and two storeys in height. Half of the units will be adaptable for wheelchair use and two of the larger units will offer the potential for a clock-off’ studio apartment for further flexibility.” 

Site plan of proposed 2.45-hectare development – from zoning application


As this project is in the the traditional territories of the Homalco, Klahoose and Tla’amin Nations, they were asked to comment – but did not respond. 

In their recommendation, SRD staff wrote, “If an archaeological site is encountered during development, activity must be halted and the Archaeology Branch contacted for direction.” 

They added, “Applicants [are] to prepare [a] Riparian Areas Regulation report with respect to watercourse crossing the property, limit vegetation clearance to times outside the nesting season for local birds and to prepare an erosion and sedimentation control management plan for the proposed development.”

Rezoning hearing for Rainbow Ridge
Part of the 51 acres where Phase Two of the development is slated to go in – Priya Huffman photo

Direction of the Meeting 

At least three members of the Electoral Areas Services Committee should be there. Cortes Island’s Director, Noba Anderson, will chair the meeting and Gerald Whalley is Vice Chair. Though she has other commitments that day, Director Brenda Leigh also wishes to be present. 

“I have a scheduling glitch. I may be able to work it out yet, but I have an executive library meeting in Nanaimo following this public hearing. I may be able to reorganize that,” she said. 

To which Chief Administrative Officer David Leitch replied, “There is no requirement that all [Electoral Areas Services Committee members] attend.”

“I know, but I think it is important that if I’m voting on something that I’m attending and listening … I have never missed a public hearing in 26 years; I always find a way of getting there.” 

Top Photo: Screenshot from  decade old ideas on how to develop Manson’s Landing – courtesy David Rousseau

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