by Julie Andres
Bowen Island Undercurrent, Dec 7, 2007
The Cape on Bowen Community Development Ltd., formerly Cape Roger Curtis Joint Venture, held its third informational open house at Cates Hill Chapel last Saturday. The planning team, Ekistics Town Planning Inc., have refined their plan to incorporate community feedback gleaned from previous meetings. One of the questions that has been on the minds of those interested in the development was addressed specifically – the number of units proposed for the ultimate build-out is in the neighbourhood of 1,000.
The open house comprising two presentations drew between 150 and 200 people in spite of snowy weather. “We were happy with the way things went this weekend,” said project coordinator Mark Sager.
Morganne Keplar has been involved in many volunteer activities on Bowen Island over the years, including the Bowen Community Housing Association’s Affordable Housing Strategy Committee, was favourably impressed. “This is a good opportunity,” she said. “I thing the developers are doing their best. It’s hard for people to trust developers. Sometimes they are completely thoughtless. I don’t see that here. These guys are leading edge.”
Earlier in the week the Cape group met with the mayor, members of council and several municipal groups (including the Advisory Planning Commission, the Trails Committee and the Civic Facilities Working Group). Sager said that the meeting was not productive. “We got off on the wrong foot,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, because they (owners Don Ho and Edwin Lee) are open and willing to give up the best that they have.”
Sager traveled to Switzerland earlier this fall to meet with financier Jonathan Chait, owner of a large parcel of land adjacent to CRC and Tunstall Bay. Tunstall Bay residents have been strong opponents of using Whitesails Road to access the Cape. “We now have a handshake deal to put a road through the [Chait] property,” said Sager. “It’s an old logging road.”
Sager also met with members of the Cape Roger Curtis Trust Society earlier in the week. He said that the meeting was very positive and he feels that they will find a balance that most will be happy with. “Our maps are now looking very much the same.” Both plans preserve a large amount of the Cape for parks and all waterfront is left in its natural state.
Over the next few months Sager and his team will refine the plan further. A public hearing is slated for February and rezoning bylaw readings and adoption are projected for March.