What to do with that waterfront property?

City looking for people to sit on Waterfront Task Force, perform community engagement

The City of Campbell River is looking for people to help form a plan for the city’s prestigious waterfront property.

Nearly two years after it was first announced by Mayor Andy Adams, the city’s Waterfront Task Force is finding its legs.

The city is accepting applications until Oct. 31 for seven people to serve on the task force and help create a new area in the heart of the city.

Adams said the purpose of the task force is to develop, complete and recommend to council a plan for the property that aligns with both council’s, and the community’s, values and priorities.

“The Waterfront Task Force’s work will be part of a comprehensive community engagement process to incorporate public interests and amenities and complement downtown revitalization efforts,” Adams said. “Council will continue to collaborate with our First Nations partners, local businesses and associations to ensure that any potential development of the 3.5 acre property aligns with the city’s plans as identified by the community through the Task Force.”

The property in question is currently a sand pit between Discovery Harbour Shopping Centre and the Quadra Island ferry terminal. The land is one of three parcels that, when combined with two neighbouring parcels that belong to the Campbell River Indian Band, make up 9.5 acres.

What to do with the site has been a hot topic at City Hall for more than 20 years. The previous council, under then-Mayor Walter Jakeway, hired consultants to host a public engagement session and prepare a report on recommendations for the property. According to the report, the majority of those who attended the public session supported converting the waterfront property into a public space.

That same council also approved a draft of 18 guiding principles with respect to development of the property.

Those principles include: connecting the property to the rest of the downtown core; emphasizing pedestrian priority over vehicles; consideration of public amenity space; consideration of residential and mixed use development with significant public park space; ensuring a First Nations identity; having public views to the water, and others. A decision on the property, however, was never made and the council that established those principles was disbanded after the 2014 civic election.

The issue was revived shortly after when Adams, in his inaugural mayoral address, announced he would be creating the Waterfront Task Force.

The initiative was temporarily put on the back burner, however, when its city manager resigned.

Last November, with a new CEO in place, council brought the task force back into the light and officially approved the formation of the Waterfront Task Force.

Those who who are chosen to sit on the task force will be responsible to help develop:

  • Community-endorsed principles for development and uses on the 3.5 acre waterfront site at the corner of Highway 19A and Roberts Reach.
  • A transparent screening process and regulatory tools for evaluating uses and potential development proposals.
  • Recommendations for public amenities on and adjacent to the site.
  • A public investment/incentive strategy for potential future development of the site.
  • A strategy for moving forward with a clear vision for the 3.5 acre site.

Waterfront Task Force appointments will be for a maximum of 24 months.

The city will issue a request for proposals for consulting services to assist in the process.

Information and applications are at City Hall or under What’s New at www.campbellriver.ca.

The deadline for applications is 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 31.

For more information contact Peter Wipper, city clerk, at 250-286-5700 or email peter.wipper@campbellriver.ca