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Our proposals to Metro Vancouver

September 12, 2023

Via Mail and Email

Metro Vancouver
Metrotower III
4515 Central Boulevard
Burnaby, BC V5H 0C6

Attention: Ravi Chhina, Deputy CAO, Operations

Dear Mr. Chhina:

Re: Bowen Island Conservancy – Metro Vancouver Regional Park on Bowen Island

This letter is further to our discussions respecting the planned Metro Vancouver Regional Park on Bowen Island (the “Park”), and the proposal made by the Bowen Island Conservancy in May of this year to compensate Metro Vancouver in the amount of $20 million in return for measures to protect our Wild Coast Nature Refuge and generally enhance conservation in the area.

The Conservancy is extremely concerned that the development of the Park, as currently proposed, will result in serious negative impacts to our Wild Coast Nature Refuge adjacent to the Park, and conservancy values in the area generally. Consequently, we sought and obtained commitments from donors to make the $20 million payment to Metro Vancouver to obtain protection of our interests.

Following our meeting in May, you advised by telephone that, while our $20 million offer was of interest, you wished us to consider a higher amount with modification of our proposal. Although we are not in a position to offer more than $20 million in relation to our original proposal, we believe that circumstances are such that it is worth reiterating that proposal, and seeking your consideration.

Further, given Metro Vancouver’s apparent lack of interest in our $20 million proposal, we have worked on raising funds to purchase the entire Park property.

Details of our May proposal for protective measures, and our alternative proposal to purchase the entire property, are set out below.

We also note concerns expressed by the Bowen Island Municipality and the Islands Trust, and the overwhelming public opposition to the Park as currently proposed, in particular with respect to camping. We remain concerned about potential impacts on the Wild Coast Nature Refuge and conservation in the adjacent area.

May Proposal – Protective Measures

The details and rationale of our proposal to pay Metro Vancouver $20 million in return for conservation measures in the vicinity of the Wild Coast Nature Refuge may be summarized:

  • We pay Metro Vancouver $20 million;
  • Metro Vancouver to transfer title to Lot 23, adjacent to the Wild Coast Nature Refuge, to the Conservancy. Lot 23 is a logical extension of the Wild Coast Nature Refuge, its coastal bluff ecosystem and topography.
  • A setback, confirmed by a no-development covenant, to be placed on the lots directly across the road from the Wild Coast Nature Refuge, as a buffer to minimize potential impact.
  • A no-development covenant to be placed on the coastal Bluffs in the Park to the east of the refuge, to ensure continuity of the intact coastal bluff ecosystem, consistent with the objectives of the Conservancy to protect unique areas, and falling within the mandate of Metro Vancouver Parks to promote conservation.
  • A protective covenant to be placed on the Huszar creek riparian zone to protect ecological values.
  • There will be no camping in the Park.

All of these matters to be confirmed by binding legal agreement.

We believe this proposal is a win-win for Metro and the Conservancy.

This proposal is of clear benefit to the Conservancy, both enhancing and protecting the Wild Coast Nature Refuge, as well as enhancing conservation in the area generally.

The proposal is also of significant benefit to Metro Vancouver, obtaining $20 million, with little impact on the overall market value of the Park land, restrictions fully within the Metro Parks mandate to promote conservation, and greater consistency regarding Bowen Island community values.

Alternative Proposal – Purchase of Entire Property

Given Metro’s apparent lack of interest in our May proposal, we have made efforts to raise funds for the purpose of purchasing the entire area. We are now in a position to offer the sum of $30 million for the entire property, subject to the Conservancy obtaining formal confirmation of donations which have been pledged. We anticipate that these funds can be confirmed and our formal offer presented by November of this year.

If Metro Vancouver is prepared to consider either of these proposals further, we are prepared to meet to discuss details at your convenience.

We look forward to your reply.

Yours truly,

Bowen Island Conservancy

Owen Plowman
President

cc: George V. Harvie, Board Chair, Metro Vancouver (mayorharvie@delta.ca)
John McEwan, Board Vice Chair and Regional Parks Committee Chair, Metro Vancouver
(john.mcewen@anmore.com)
Rebecca Bligh, Regional Parks Committee Vice Chair, Metro Vancouver (CLRbligh@vancouver.ca)
Andrew Leonard, Mayor, Bowen Island Municipality (mayor@bimbc.ca)