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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Cable Bay a sham

On April 2nd 2009 a public hearing was held to redesignate 'Industrial' land owned by Island Timberlands to 'Resort Centre' so that the property could be added into the Cable Bay development.

The process of the Cable Bay development has been a sham from the get go.

Brief (I tried) History:

Nanaimo's Official Community Plan went up for its 10 year review in March of 2006;
'Official community plans have been described as the "constitutions of land use regulation." British Columbia Planning Law and Practice by William Buholzer states that this metaphor is:
"… intended to convey the notion that official plans are expected to enshrine principles that are above the daily politics of rezonings, variances, and development approvals. They are meant to govern the overall direction of development and its pace at a policy level without descending into detail, which is left to regulatory instruments such as [zoning] bylaws and permits."
One of the goals of the Ten Year Review is to ensure that the OCP continues to be a policy document that guides the overall growth of the city and is long range in focus. This may require revision of some of the more detailed
or specific policies which are contrary to the broad nature of the Plan.' (City Manager Report 2006 -Mar- 18)

During the process of review major developments came to light in South Nanaimo and Cable Bay. Council in its infinite wisdom, despite huge opposition, ammended the OCP to extend the Urban Containment Boundary (meant to control urban sprawl) to the very edges of City Boundaries in order no doubt to accomodate both potential development.

Two new designations, 'Urban Reserve' and 'Resort', were proposed to be included in the revised OCP.

Public Hearing June 19th 2008 re adopting the revized Official Community Plan.

In July the City of Nanaimo attempted to bring a hundred acre section (owned by Cable Bay Developments) of the Regional District into City Boundaries using the alternative approval process. This process allowed no input from residents of the RDN and meant that if you said nothing you were deemed to agree. To have this squashed 10% of voters from the City of Nanaimo would have to sign forms to that effect. With much effort over 8000 signatures were collected and the motion was defeated.

Public Hearing September 4th 2008 re Bylaw No. 6500.001:
The bylaw if adopted will make text amendments to the City of Nanaimo Official Community Plan to provide for a comprehensive mixed use resort development of recreational, commercial and residential uses.

The proposed amendments wil provide for development of a golf course, and residential and commercial uses within the area known as Cable Bay Lands. The new ‘Resort Centre” designation is intended …………………

This bylaw, if adopted, will also add Schedule G to include the Cable Bay Plan as part of the Official Community Plan. ……………

My contention at this public hearing was, how could we redesignate the property to a designation that was contingent on the adoption of revisions to the OCP. I also contended that because the ratification of the OCP had already gone to public hearing we were not allowed to communicate to council with regards to revisions of the OCP after the hearing was held and that because this public hearing for the redesignation of Cable Bay Lands was contingent on the ratification of the OCP we were doing just that.

From the City of Nanaimo website regarding Public Hearings:
Please note: All written submissions must be received no later than 4:00 pm on the day of the Public Hearing, to ensure their availability to Council at the public hearing. Following the close of a public hearing, no further submissions or comments can be accepted by members of City Council, as established by provincial case law. This is necessary to ensure a fair public consultation process and provide a reasonable opportunity for people to respond to an issue.

Now we come to the April 2nd 2009 Public Hearing:

BYLAW NO. 6500.004:
This bylaw, if adopted, will amend Map 1 (Future Land Use Plan) of the "OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN BYLAW 2008 NO. 6500" by redesignating a portion of 950 Phoenix Way from 'Industrial' to 'Resort Centre' to provide for a comprehensive mixed use resort development of recreational, commercial and residential uses.

Excerpt from the Minute of the Public Hearing

Gord Fuller - 604 Nicol Street - Opposed

Asked Staff to confirm that the 'Resort Centre' designation came into effect with the ratification of the amendments to OCP.

Mr. Tucker corrected the speaker by noting that the redesignation to Cable Bay was the first amendment to the newly adopted OCP. The new OCP was ready for adoption and the Cable Bay application had not yet gone to Public Hearing; therefore, the OCP was adopted with an 'Urban Reserve' designation over the subject property, which was then amended to 'Resort Centre'.

Mr. Fuller stated his belief that if the subject property were to be redesignated as 'Resort Centre' it would be the only property that is legitimately designated due to the previous adoption being against Council policy.

Mr Tucker's statement was false as the original Cable Bay public hearing was on Sept 4th 2008 and the revised OCP was formally adopted on Sept. 8th 2008. I still contend the original public hearing to redesignate Cable Bay Lands to 'Resort Centre' was held illegally and as such if the result of the Public Hearing on April 2nd 2009 is to redesignate Timberlands property from 'Industrial' to 'Resort Centre' it would be the only property that is legitimately designated due to the previous adoption being against Council policy.


Helen James said...

Gord, I thought is was pretty clear at the April 2 Public Hearing that the Cable Bay application has meet all requirements and followed protocol all the way along. City Staff corrected you and explained the process.

It seems you are grasping at straws to smear this development, insinuating it bypassed regulations. Cable Bay has followed all the rules for the application process and hasn't tried to skip anything. It's been over 2 years since it started, it's not like it was pushed through as some suggest.
Any private land owner can apply for similar applications, this owner has followed the steps set out by the city.
(No, I don't work for Cable Bay, I just want to see it built in my area).

......... Gord Fuller ......... said...

My point was that "Following the close of a public hearing, no further submissions or comments can be accepted by members of City Council, as established by provincial case law."

City Staff were wrong in that they said the Cable Bay Public Hearing to designate the lands "Resort Centre" came after the Revisions of the OCP had been approved including that of the resort designation. In actual fact the Cable Bay Public hearing was 4 days prior to the ratification of the OCP and hence according to the City's own guidlines should not have been heard.

James said...

Gord, you should have a chat with city staff again, as I've asked them about this since the public hearing. They process can be complicated, but the guidelines have been followed regarding OCP amendments and when they can be heard.
Check the City of Nanaimo website under Cable Bay, there are hundreds of pages of documents outlining from Day 1 what steps Cable Bay has to go through. I think you are confusing adoption of the OCP with when amendments can be files.
Saying Cable Bay is a "sham" is pathetic without providing credible evidence of wrong-doing. You are showing your true colors again, your hatred of developers and big money. Look at all the facts rather than letting emotion dictate your argument. It would help in giving you a chance to be elected to council. If you keep up the attitude of attacking without facts you will be on the outside looking in again in 2011. Your voice on social issues is appreciated by many, but your attacks and negativity are what keep you on the bench.

......... Gord Fuller ......... said...

James, In no way do I hate "Developers and Big Money" in fact Insight Developments have done some fine work in the community as have many others.

Personally I think that the Southland Development is a well integrated use of land that will create a viable sub community. What I didn't like was the expansion of Nanaimo's Urban Containment Boundary, despite overwhelming opposition, to accommodate both it and the Cable Bay thing.

Frankly the only good thing about Cable Bay is the views and these will be removed but for thems thats got the money. We are also looking at a ban on herbicides/pesticides that golf courses won't be forced to follow. In that area the possibility of these leeching into the ground water is extremely great. Too bad most in the area utilize wells which Cable Bay residents won't.

The point I was making is that, will try and make it clear, when the public hearing came up to designate Cable Bay to "Resort Centre" there was no such designation. Resort Centre was a new designation that came into effect only after the final hearing for the revisions to the Official Community Plan. Until that final hearing council was to hear nothing with regards to the revised OCP because the public hearing for it had been held.