Port Harvey property owners have petitioned British Columbia Supreme Court to quash rezoning bylaw 895 which would allow for a controversial shipyard to be built.
Bylaw 895, which was adopted by the Regional District of Mount Waddington (RDMW) on May 15, rezones a section of property in Port Harvey, located on West Carcroft Island in the Johnstone Strait (about 60 km south of Port McNeill) from “rural” to “marine industrial.”
The shipyard is owned by Mike Buttle Services Ltd. and is situated directly across from Port Harvey Marine Resort, a popular destination for pleasure boaters.
Port Harvey Marine Resort owners George and Gailanne Cambridge, as well as Port Harvey property owner Dr. Rodger Hodkinson, have commenced legal proceedings to quash the bylaw on the grounds that it was “enacted invalidly.”
“An industrial scale marine repair and salvage business being operated at this location is incompatible with all other adjacent uses,” states a press release sent out by the property owners.
The release also explains that the petitioners’ lawsuit states “the Regional District has a regional plan bylaw that requires that no rezoning bylaw can be enacted that allows a new use that is incompatible with existing adjacent uses.”
“Instead of enforcing its bylaws to stop the business operating, the Regional District enacted the rezoning bylaw to allow the formally unauthorized use, and also allow the use to be intensified, making things worse,” states George Cambridge in the release.
RDMW Manager of Planning and Development Services Jeff Long confirmed a petition has been filed with the supreme court to have Bylaw 895 quashed “Primarily on the basis of the question of conformity with regional plan bylaw 890 and in particular, the issue of compatibility of uses.”
“The Regional District is working with its legal counsel who will file a response to the petition with the Court,” said Long, adding “There was plenty of discussion throughout a two year plus process to deal with this particular bylaw, including matters pertaining to the concerns of the petitioners who are not happy with the outcome. They take a certain position and it is understandable that they are using the legal process to try and further their points of view in this matter which we will deal with in court.”