City to look into reducing its municipal boundaries

City council will look into the impacts of shrinking the city

City council will look into the impacts of shrinking the city.

McIvor Lake residents who no longer want to be a part of the City of Campbell River finally got what they were looking for when council, at its regular meeting last week, asked city staff to report back on how such a move would affect the city.

The group of eight residents who live along McIvor Lake Road wrote a letter to city council Nov. 7 demanding a response to an Aug. 28 petition for annexing their properties from the city.

After council voted to receive the residents’ letter, Coun. Larry Samson went one step further.

“I’ll make a motion to get a report from staff on the implications of the removal of these properties from the city boundaries,” said Samson who was quick to add that he also would like the report to include the impact it would have on fire and other city services that the residents receive.

The report, which will come before council at a future council meeting, is expected to also include options to address the residents’ concerns, the biggest being the condition of the road which is paved for the first 500 metres but gravel the rest of the way.

Dr. Aref Tabarsi, a McIvor Lake resident who has led the charge for annexation, spoke to council last year about the condition of the road.

He said in the winter the potholes are so deep that he’s driving on the opposite side of the road to avoid them and in the summer, so much dust is kicked up that he can’t even go for a walk in his own neighbourhood.

Tabarsi maintains it’s wrong of the city to collect property taxes from him and his neighbours when they say they’re not receiving basic city services.

“For the entire six months of a year I’m driving on a public road that’s only been graded once,” Tabarsi said.

“It’s unbearable. Collecting our taxes and giving us minimal to no services, including a basic drivable road, is illegal, unethical and immoral.”

Tabarsi and his neighbours are pushing for the city to apply to the province under the Local Government Act to downsize the municipality.

The McIvor Lake group’s intention is to then join the Strathcona Regional District, which has a lower property tax rate.