Regarding Lots 20-22 Philanthropic Proposal
We were surprised by a report that suggested a deal was pending to sell lots at the Cape to a conservation buyer.
We truly appreciate the generous donor’s interest and intentions. We are always open to more discussion with them, and other philanthropists or organizations that share a passion for the same cause.
There was a discussion about this in the fall, but unfortunately it didn’t come together. We’re sorry if there was a misunderstanding about it. People must feel very disappointed to hear that this park opportunity has not yet materialized.
At the time of the suggestion, we had not yet begun formal planning with environmental and other professionals. What we had learned by then, through conversations with islanders, was that we should try to create a large, contiguous preserved area to include red-listed habitat and recreational parks. In order to make this possible, we need to look at the area as a whole, and come up with a range of ideas in search of a viable one. For this reason we had taken the lots off the market before the potential buyers contacted us.
Since then, I’ve had talks with BC Parks and Metro Parks. I’ve also been working with our environmental consultant (Diamond Head Consulting), who has just completed a preliminary field study. This will help us map out the most important areas for preservation.
It is my goal to provide public access to the shoreline along lots 20-30 for views and recreation, and to protect over 100 acres of environmentally significant lands through a combination of public access designations and conservation capital. The team needs to balance water resources, infrastructure costs, best locations for diverse housing and gathering places, land values, market absorption and other factors to achieve this.
Our public consultation is still happening. I eagerly look forward to having a sketch plan that the team believes is reasonably workable, as a basis of discussion and exploration with the community. Once we come to a plan that we are confident is viable and well liked, we’ll submit an application to the Municipality. Even after the application is submitted, I do plan to stay very much connected and engaged with anyone who wishes to be an active part of the process.
It’s a work in progress but don’t worry, the dream of a large park is very much alive.