Protect public interest

At the April Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee (JDF LUC) meeting, I spoke at length on reasons why the Marine Trail Holdings group proposal to rezone their parcels for a residential resort does not meet the criteria to go forward.  Here is another one.

A public information meeting was held for the Marine Trail Holdings application presented in September instead of APC meetings. People had the same concerns as put forward for a lesser proposal in 2009: water supply, fire protection, environmental protection, access to the Juan de Fuca Provincial Park, wildlife conservation, and traffic.  The public didn’t accept the idea of a residential resort.

At their February meeting, the JDF LUC voted for a public information meeting in March: they wanted more time, wanted more information, wanted the process followed.

Additional information for the JDF LUC at their April meeting: Jordan River Community Association sees no benefit; Shirley Volunteer Fire Department recommends against the proposal; Ministry of the Environment nixes access to the Marine Trail at Bear Beach; an expert from Royal Roads says the location and plan for the resort aren’t appropriate; the assessment of costs to the communities is missing; the Environmental Law Clinic reminds the CRD that tourist and residential uses in the Rural Resource Lands go against the Regional Growth Strategy; and finally, most members of the public want the Resource Land zone  to stay.

So, with no proper information about the Phased Development Agreement, the JDF LUC voted to recommend CRD LUC A have the bylaws for rezoning prepared and sent to a Public Hearing.

There will have to be substantial guarantees that the public interest is protected before the rezoning bylaw and Phased Development Agreement are accepted at Public Hearing.  People said no to the proposal.  How are these decision makers accountable?

Heather Phillips

Sooke

Lyme