Fifty-eight-lot subdivision application for the Cape shouldn’t be on the table

April 4, 2008
Bowen Island Undercurrent

We urge council to exercise its authority to require the owners of the Cape Roger Curtis (CRC) lands to withdraw their application for a 58-lot subdivision for the following reasons:

The Cape Roger Curtis Trust Society (CRCTS) has received legal advice that it is highly unusual for municipal councils to enter into a rezoning process while there is a subdivision application on the table. The public continues to perceive the subdivision application for 58 lots as a real threat if municipal council does not agree with the rezoning proposals of the CRC owners.

Community groups (including CRCTS) have spent considerable volunteer time attending meetings and reviewing and commenting on the CRC proposals, with a view to ensuring that the rezoning of these lands meets the goals and objectives of Bowen Islanders.

The subdivision of these lands into 58 ten-acre lots does not meet the goals and objectives of the Bowen Island community as expressed in the Official Community Plan (including the specific requirements set out for the CRC Development Permit Area), nor does it meet the stated public interest as expressed in the council’s resolution of February 2006 (Municipal Framework for Planning the Future Use of the CRC Lands).

The fact that the approving officer has neither approved nor rejected the 58 ten-acre lot subdivision does not relieve council of its responsibility to make it clear to the owners that a condition of entering the rezoning process is withdrawal of its subdivision application.

Given the length of time since the initial subdivision application (September 4, 2004) and the lack of any response from the CRC owners to the conditions set out in the July 7, 2006 letter from Michael Rosen, there is considerable doubt as to whether the application would be legally protected by the one year time period under section 943 of the Local Government Act, despite the extensions granted by the municipal planners.

Without demanding the withdrawal of the 58-lot subdivision application, council appears to be acting from a position of weakness, which inevitably affects its negotiation strategy. This is not serving the interests of the community.

If the current subdivision application is not legally valid (also based on good legal advice), then why not remove it from the table?

Pamela Dicer, Peter Drake, Stephen Foster, Jean Jamieson, Marion Moore, Nerys Poole, Jan Wells
Directors, Cape Roger Curtis Trust Society