The Cape Roger Curtis Park

This photo was taken at Cape Roger Curtis Lot 21, looking West.

A successful outcome

In October 2019 we started on a journey, after learning that funding for land acquisition would be available from private souces, towards establishing a 32 acre waterfront park at Cape Roger Curtis. And we are absolutely delighted to let you know that, on October 16th, we reached a major milestone: we have successfully negotiated and signed an offer to purchase the 32 acres in question. Our much-desired waterfront park at Cape Roger Curtis is happening!

The lots in question, 20, 21, and 22, are extremely beautiful. Whales swim past just off the lichen-covered cliffs, a litle way from a peaceful forest. Conservation status would protect the rare coast bluff ecosystem that’s present, and make it possible to remedy the damage done by preliminary development activities.

We have much to do in the coming weeks, preparing for the transfer of title/ownership for the lots, which happens on December 16th. After that the land will be ours and our park will be a reality.

Where are the lots?

The exact location of these lots and the park that would result is shown on the map below.

Map showing proposed Park at Cape Roger Curtis
Map showing location of the proposed park at Cape Roger Curtis

Can we visit the park now?

Until December 16th the land does not belong to the Conservancy, and is not open to the public.

How much did the land cost?

Earlier this year the Conservancy retained the services of a respected and well-established firm of real estate appraisers to establish the fair market value of the lands, based on the highest and best use as single family residential 10 acre lots. The appraisal set the fair market value of the 3 lots at $7.2 million. Our initial offer to purchase for that amount was rejected by The Cape on Bowen (the current owners). Following discussions with our advisers and our donors, we continued to negotiate and this week agreed to purchase the lots for $8.8 million.

This initiative was announced in March. Why has it taken so long to negotiate the offer to purchase?

Buying a large parcel of land is a complicated process in its own right. Additional complexity has resulted from (a) the pandemic, (b) the fact that this is the Conservancy’s first land purchase, (c) the need for extensive discussions among the Directors of the Conservancy, The Cape on Bowen, our donors, our lawyers, and other parties.

Is this park part of the proposed rezoning plan for the unsold lots at Cape Roger Curtis?

Our purchase of the three lots is completely independent of efforts to rezone land by the Cape on Bowen, and the Conservancy is not involved with these rezoning efforts.

How will the land be made into a park? What will be done with the driveways and building pads that have been built on these lots?

As we move forward we look forward to working with the Bowen Island community to decide how best to transform the land into a park. We have to put a management plan in place, and develop trails, signage, and a shoreline viewing platform to protect the sensitive vegetation on the cliffs by the sea. As well, we need to decide how to perform remediation to return the land to its natural state where development has occurred. All this will take time and money, and volunteers: we hope that this will be a true community effort.

Thoughts from our donors

“We are grateful to be a part of the campaign to create a new park on Bowen. We were touched by the commitment and dedication of the people involved in making it happen.

We hope the new park will create a lot of wonderful memories for everyone who visits and will generate a lot of interest in the Bowen Island Conservancy’s work.”

Click on a photo below to see the full size image

Walking to the waterfront at Cape Roger Curtis park
Walking through the forest down to the water (July 2020)
Looking at the ocean
A view from the Cape Roger Curtis park, looking at the ocean
Looking out to sea
Looking out to sea at Cape Roger Curtis (October 2020)
Looking East from the cliffs at Cape Roger Curtis
Looking East from the cliffs at Cape Roger Curtis. Downtown Vancouver is not far away (October 2020)
Looking West from the cliffs at Cape Roger Curtis
Looking West from the cliffs at Cape Roger Curtis. Texada Island is far off in the distance (October 2020)
An otter at Cape Roger Curtis
An otter on the rocky foreshore