Our position on extending Thompson Road

Background

The Thompson Road road allowance terminates at the boundary of Crown Land Block 6, which contains the Fairy Fen Nature Reserve (owned by the Islands Trust Fund). Some years ago an application was submitted to the Provincial Government for a right-of-way from Thompson Road through the Crown land to provide access to the Cape Roger Curtis lands. This application was turned down by the Province, following consultation with the Bowen Island Municipality.

Recently, residents in the Tunstall Bay and Whitesails Drive areas have requested consideration of this potential access again, to limit construction traffic on Whitesails Drive. The Bowen Island Conservancy is sympathetic to the Whitesails residents’ concerns, but is also very sensitive to any action that could have negative impact on Fairy Fen and the Huszar Creek watershed.

Councillor Rhodes' resolution

At the Special Council Meeting on 10 April 2012, Councillor Rhodes made the following recommendation regarding access to Cape Roger Curtis via Thompson Road: “Whereas the current subdivision layout at The Cape on Bowen does not provide allowance for future access to Thompson Road; That Council direct staff to enter into discussion with the owners regarding the potential to adjust the current subdivision layout to provide allowance and ROW for future access to Thompson Road.

Our position on this issue

The Conservancy Board has already taken a public position on this issue, in the Fall of 2011. We have now written to Mayor and Council, in light of Councillor Rhodes' recommendation, reiterating our position:

 

Mayor and Council
Bowen Island Municipality
981 Artisan Lane
Bowen Island, BC, V0N 1G2

Dear Mayor and Council:

Item 10.1: Councillor Tim Rhodes re: Access to Cape Roger Curtis via Thompson Road
Special Council Meeting Agenda (10 April 2012)

This letter reiterates the Bowen Island Conservancy's position on access to the Cape Roger Curtis lands via Thompson Road, which we first made public in the Fall of 2011. We state our position again as a result of Councillor Rhodes' recommendation under item 10.1 on the agenda for the Special Council Meeting of 10 April 2012.

The Thompson Road road allowance terminates at the boundary of Crown Land Block 6, which contains the Fairy Fen Nature Reserve (owned by the Islands Trust Fund and managed by the Bowen Island Conservancy). The Provincial Government has recently placed a Conservation Notation on the Western portion of Block 6, which may place certain limits on land use in that area.

Some years ago an application was submitted to the Provincial Government for a right-of-way from Thompson Road through the Crown land to provide access to the Cape Roger Curtis lands. This application was turned down by the Province, following consultation with the Bowen Island Municipality.

Recently, residents in the Tunstall Bay and Whitesails Drive areas have requested consideration of this potential access again, to limit construction traffic on Whitesails Drive. The Bowen Island Conservancy is sympathetic to these residents' concerns, but is also very sensitive to any action that could have negative impact on Fairy Fen and the Huszar Creek watershed.

The route that was originally proposed would have been at the upper levels of the slope that leads down into Fairy Fen, and lies well within the Huszar Creek watershed. A road in that location would create the potential for a negative impact on Fairy Fen and the watershed, as it is likely that run-off from the road would introduce pollutants into the area. This could occur both during initial road construction and also during long term use of the road.

A different road layout might be feasible, however: going West immediately—or even before—entering the Crown lands, and proceeding around the hillside outside of the watershed before turning South and down into the Cape Roger Curtis lands. Use of this route would minimize the risk to the Nature Reserve and the watershed, while still providing access to the Cape Roger Curtis lands.

Additional alternative routes may prove to be feasible in the future.

We ask that you will give consideration to the protection of the Fairy Fen Nature Reserve, and the Huszar Creek watershed, in making your decision with respect to the Thompson Road issue.