Marine Trail proposal gets public hearing

Ender Ilkay climbs one more hurdle

  • Jul. 20, 2011 12:00 p.m.

The CRD Land Use Committee A voted to move Ender Ilkay’s controversial Marine Trail Holdings development to public hearing on July 13, in the next stage of a process that has been contentious ever since it was first brought to the board.

Committee members Mike Hicks, Langford Coun. Lanny Seaton, Sooke Mayor Janet Evans, and Colwood Mayor Dave Saunders voted in favour, while Metchosin Mayor John Ranns voted against the project.

“Our primary concern is to determine the public will,” he said. “Nobody can honestly say the public wants this. The first of our tests as public officials has failed.”

Ranns said the land use committee had been “seduced” by planning staff into thinking that the logistics of the project were more important than public opinion.

The whole CRD board, which does not have the right to vote, pushed the land use committee to reconsider the decision or refer it to the whole board for advice.

The board addressed Minister Ida Chong’s refusal to change the voting structure, which the province initially set up, and several councillors said they thought it was because the province didn’t want to get involved in changing policy.

Ranns expressed his “disgust” with the voting structure and the fact that any further decisions were solely in the hands of Committee A, who is largely supportive of the development.

“Folks, this is it,” he said, speaking to the whole board. “This is our last chance to have any influence on this.”

Ranns also denied Hicks’ claim that the development was the only way to protect the parcel of land from being clear-cut, and suggested it could be turned into an amenity and economic support for surrounding communities the way Pacific Rim National Park has been a tourist boom for Tofino and Ucluelet.

Hicks said in a prepared speech that if rezoning was approved, the developer would not build within 150 metres of the trail and that this was not the beginning of sprawling development between Jordan River and Port Renfew.

He said the government wasn’t interested in buying the land after it went up for sale, even after he repeatedly asked them. He said Marine Trail Holdings would keep 86 per cent of the land undeveloped and dedicate half of that acreage for parkland.

“We can preserve and create an old-growth forest, buffering the circle route highway and marine trail… or we can expose 100 per cent of these lands to the cycle of clear-cut logging,” he said.

Mayor Janet Evans also spoke in favour of the project. She said she grew up in Port Renfrew and saw the trees “logged, replanted and logged again.”

“I believe the applicant will protect the Juan de Fuca park,” she said.

Ilkay has said the resort, which would  consist  of 257 part-time housing units, was designed in public consultation with the residents of surrounding communities and the Pacheedaht First Nation, on whose land the development infringes. The Pacheedaht have generally supported the project, citing the jobs it will bring to their community and plans to build an artists’ venue to showcase local Aboriginal art.

Victoria Coun. Philippe Lucas said the commitment to protecting parkland didn’t change the fact that the proposed development was “way too big”, stretching over five kilometres.

“It’s like telling a cancer patient that he’s already 86 per cent fine, so don’t worry about the other 14 per cent. What size would be considered too large?”

In response, Juan de Fuca Electoral Area head of planning Bob Lapham admitted that there wasn’t much public consultation focusing specifically on what size residents thought was appropriate for the resort.

The board also voted to receive a staff report from Victoria Coun. Vic Derman, who questioned access to fire services for users of the isolated resort and the likelihood of vegetation being cut away to lower the fire risk.

“You are putting as much as 1,000 people out in a forested area without adequate fire protection,” he said. “How in God’s name can that be considered?”

Hicks said the province would continue to protect the forest and the developer would provide infrastructure to protect the buildings.

Conversation continued about the date of the public hearing. Hicks suggested it be held in August.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Food trucks will be allowed to operate in several Sooke parks beginning May 1. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sooke’s food truck pilot project under scrutiny

Councillor questions impact food trucks will have on nearby restaurants

A walk for autism awareness. (Black Press Media file photo)
COLUMN: Autism acceptance, not autism awareness

Elizabeth Sparling is the mother of a 24-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
PHOTOS: Vehicle driven into Saanich Walmart removed after two trapped workers rescued

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Tons of bottles were donated during bottle drives in Sooke and Langford on March 27. The funds raised from the drives will help a local family stay with their daughter during her leukemia treatments in Vancouver. (Photos: Glendora Scarfone)
Sooke, Langford bottle drives help cover family’s costs of staying with daughter during cancer treatments

More than $11,900 raised to help Shae Hanilton’s family stay with her in Vancouver

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

Tyson Ginter, 7, is proud of his latest Hot Wheels he recently received by Quesnel RCMP Const. Matt Joyce. (Photo submitted)
B.C. Mountie handing out toy cars to light up children’s faces

‘A lot of times it will be the only interaction they have with the police,’ says Const. Matt Joyce

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a technical briefing on the COVID pandemic in Canada, Friday, January 15, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s ICUs see near-record of COVID-19 patients last week as variant cases double

Last week, Canadian hospitals treated an average of 2,500 patients with COVID-19, daily, up 7% from the previous week

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
UVic, women’s rowing coach deny former athlete’s allegation of verbal abuse

Lily Copeland alleges coach Barney Williams would stand close to her and speak aggressively in the sauna

Most Read