Yard waste has been piled over three feet deep at the base of this Douglas fir near a gate in the fence of one of the houses on Cordero Crescent that backs on Willow Creek Nature Conservancy. Greenways Land Trust has requested the city stipulate no gates be allowed from yards into natural areas when approving future development. Photo courtesy Greenways Land Trust

Concerns raised over fencing between proposed Maryland subdivision and nature trust

Greenways wants a covenant included that would restrict gates from properties that back on nature

Residents in the Maryland Road area of Ocean Grove have been quite vocal about the way that area has been developing over the years, and council recently had a chance to hear more concerns surrounding another subdivision slated for that area.

The rezoning application for 600 Maryland Road, should it be successful, would see the area rezoned from an R-1 designation to RM-1, which, according to city planner Cameron Salisbury in his report to council recommending the rezoning be approved, “would encourage new development to consider densities and general character of the surrounding area and diversify housing choices.”

The proposed development would see a neighbourhood of patio homes constructed between the current Maryland Estates subdivision and the Willow Creek Nature Conservancy.

At the community meetings – required before any rezoning application can be brought to public hearing before council – concerns were raised about the increased density such a development would create in the area, with residents citing already existing water pressure and traffic issues. There were also concerns raised about the possibility of an apartment or condo complex being built should the rezoning application be approved.

The developer, Parkway Properties, has agreed to issue a covenant on the property restricting development to single-family patio homes only, council was told, to alleviate any concerns over the possible construction of an apartment or condo complex. Dan Samson of Parkway Properties also told council back in September he intends to alleviate some of the current traffic pressure in the area by installing a $1.5-million traffic light-controlled intersection at Jubilee Parkway and Willow Creek Road.

But at the public hearing Nov. 6, another concern was raised by Sandra Milligan, president of Greenways Land Trust.

Milligan was asking for “one important change” to the proposed plan.

Milligan raised concerns about the proposed development’s impact on the bordering nature conservancy. As the proposed development shares a 135m border with the trust, Greenways’ concern is how neighbourly the residents of the future development will be and Milligan was asking to ensure another covenant be placed on the development that would restrict access to the trust from individual residents’ back yards. Six houses on Cordero Crescent also back on the trust, and Milligan’s presentation showed photos of the fenceline between the subdivision and the natural area it backs.

“Every household along this strip has their own private access to the nature trust,” Milligan said. “And they are using it to the detriment of the nature trust.”

She pointed to photographs of unauthorized trail construction leading to those gates, as well as large piles of yard waste.

Illegal trails lead to habitat loss and unnatural slope erosion, Milligan says, and “illegal dumping of yard waste can lead to very expensive invasive plant infestations.” She also brought many more photographs of other natural areas of town that have private gate access from residential property that have similar issues cropping up.

So her request was for council to make continuous, ungated fencing a requirement of allowing the rezoning and “direct staff to consider the negative impacts of invasive species and unauthorized trail construction whenever subdivision plans include development adjacent to natural spaces.”

The rezoning application will now go to third reading, which could happen as early as next Monday, Nov. 20.

Just Posted

Howie Meeker Golf Classic helping Special Olympians realize dreams

31st annual event raises money for Campbell River Special Olympics

Mowi says all Campbell River-area farms now certified to ASC standard

ASC represents ‘gold standard in environmental and social certification,’ company says

Strathcona Regional District rejects well out of concern for Oyster River watershed

Board won’t entertain actions that facilitate additional development, threaten the Oyster River,

Man launches petition to bring charter schools to B.C.

The move could see up to 20 charter schools come to the province

Overdose deaths mount on North Island with four fatalities in June

North Vancouver Island now has second-highest fatal overdose rate in B.C.

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read