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SRD has no issues with Campbell River boundary expansion, but director says residents might

Campbell River looks to expand its Urban Containment Boundary to make room for a new subdivision
One of the access points for the proposed subdivision would be at the intersection at Jubilee Parkway and Willow Creek Road in Campbell River. Photo by Marc Kitteringham/Campbell River Mirror

The Strathcona Regional District board has no issues with a plan to move the City of Campbell River’s Urban Containment Boundary south beyond Jubilee Parkway for a proposed subdivision.

The city sent a development referral to the SRD in regards to a plan to expand the urban containment boundary to the south. If passed, it would include lands adjoining Finch Road in Electoral Area D, and would allow for around 300 urban and suburban lots, with up to 350 dwelling units, according to a report received by the SRD board. The project would include a new intersection at Jubilee Parkway and Willow Creek Road. It would also be accessed through an existing intersection at South Island Highway and Crawford Road.

According to the City of Campbell River’s Urban Forest Management Plan, “the city’s sustainable Official Community Plan designates an ‘Urban Containment Boundary’ (UCB) with the role of focusing urban development and minimizing the expansion of infrastructure beyond that boundary. Campbell River’s population, and future growth, is concentrated in the UCB and its boundary establishes the approximate edge of the ‘urban’ town and the beginning of rural areas.”

The UCB does not designate the municipal boundary, rather it “has long defined the extent of urban and infrastructure development in Campbell River,” the OCP says.

The expansion would not change the boundaries of Electoral Area D.

Before voting on the issue, Electoral Area D director John Rice spoke about potential issues with increasing traffic on Crawford Road.

“I can appreciate that the regional district as a whole may not have concerns but there’s about 200 households in my community that will have concerns,” Rice said. “Crawford Road can’t handle any more traffic at this point in time … the traffic conditions on Crawford Road are pretty grim, particularly in the morning time.”

Rice said that during school pick up hours, he has heard that some cars are waiting up to 35 minutes to turn left off Crawford Road towards Campbell River.

Campbell River Director Kermit Dahl said that the additional intersection may help alleviate the concerns of commuters turning off of Crawford.

Area C Director Robyn Mawhinney had concerns about the detail of the maps provided, saying they did not show enough of the watersheds and other potential environmentally-sensitive areas.

“It’s hard to tell if there are any watersheds that are going to be impacted materially by a subdivision going in there. It looks like there’s a creek and but it’s really hard to tell from the map. It would be really nice to have better quality information,” she said.

However, since the subdivision would require a re-designation of the lands, it would have to go to public hearing before any plans are approved. More detailed site plans and more will be made available as the project moves forward.

“Let me tell you it’s it’s amazing that any subdivisions get approved in Campbell River because of all the attention paid to both those matters,” Campbell River director Ron Kerr said.

Campbell River director Doug Chapman said that in large subdivisions, “the city asks for a traffic study to be done so design work can be done as to how best to handle the traffic.”

The SRD voted to report back to the city that it had no concerns with the proposal, but Rice added that “at this point I’m just letting it be known that this is not going to sit well with a lot of people.”

RELATED: Strathcona Regional District director wants district to take more active role in housing initiatives

Strathcona Regional District’s southern Area D under stage 3 water restrictions

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