Tag Archives: Gerald Whalley

Three Development Proposals on Quadra Island

Editor’s Note: The central question in two of the rezoning applications mentioned below is whether future owners can remove the covenants from land they purchase. This is an important issue on Cortes, Quadra and any other community where there are land covenants.

The potential rezoning of three Quadra Island properties was discussed at the May 22 SRD Board meeting. Rick Schellinck has received approval to hold a public meeting regarding his proposal to rezone 64 hectares at Gowland Harbour for future development. Two applications to remove covenants from properties, so they can be subdivided, were denied. 

Regarding the second item, Regional Director Robyn Mawhinney had previously told the Electoral Areas Services Comittee, “A covenant is defined as a formal, solemn, and binding agreement and, overwhelmingly, the message that I have received from Islanders is that covenants are promises to the community, lasting promises, which must continue to be respected. These properties came with the covenants attached to the title. The purchasers of these properties knew that they existed. While the idea of adding one lot to island inventory isn’t necessarily bad, discharging covenants was seen by many as opening the door to more such future applications and a lessening of the formal binding nature which covenants are meant to hold.” 

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SRD Asking Transport Canada About The Cortes Island Landing Strip

There were questions about what can be accomplished, but the SRD will be asking Transport Canada about the safety requirements, noise levels and frequency of planes using the Cortes Island Airstrip.

At their May 22 meeting, Cortes Island Director Mark Vonesch told the SRD Board:

“There is an airstrip on Cortes Island that’s been there for a long time. A new buyer bought the land and has  been upgrading the runway significantly.  I’ve heard numbers: allegedly a thousand gravel trucks. They’re paving it and  there’s a big concern from the community regarding: safety issues, what kind of planes can now land, frequency of planes that can now land,  whether they need permission from the owner to be able to land. And also further gentrification of Cortes Island as it becomes more accessible.”

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Jan 2024: Cortes Island Matters At The SRD Board

There have been a number of Cortes Island matters at the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) this month. Mark Vonesch, the Regional Director for Cortes Island, is now the Vice Chair of the Electoral Areas Services Committee (EASC). The Cortes Island Dog Control Service Bylaw is on its way to the Inspector of Municipalities for approval. Linnaea Education Centre and Mansons Hall both applied for Federal Gas Tax funding to purchase a heat pump and were denied. Director Vonesch is looking for ways to support them.

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SRD Receives Go Ahead To Establish a Regional Housing Service 

The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) received the go-ahead to establish a regional housing service and authorize loans of up to $10 million on an ‘as needed’ basis. While the SRD can raise funding for projects through property taxes, this money must be repaid once the projects start receiving rents.  

This matter was brought before the board at their January 24, 2024 meeting. 

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Mark Vonesch’s First Year In Office: Things ‘Accomplished’ and ‘In Process’

Mark Vonesch is very passionate about Cortes Island and his activities as Regional Director. If this were a video, rather than a radio broadcast, you would see this it in his facial expressions. There is a hint of this passion in the words he chose and the tone of his voice. 

Cortes Currents asked him for a recap of this past year and what to expect going forward into 2024.  

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