Port Harvey zoning bylaw moves forward

Bylaw 895 will receive second and third reading pending conditions

The Regional District of Mount Waddington is one step closer to making a decision on bylaw 895, which affects a proposed industrial zone in Port Harvey, a popular boater destination.

The district received an application by Pacificus Biological Services on behalf of property owners Linda and Mike Buttle, to rezone a section of Port Harvey, located on West Cracroft Island in the Broughton Archipelago, and was the subject of a heated public hearing on July 18.

During their Sept. 19 meeting, the RDMW Board of Directors heard a recommendation from the Regional Planning Committee regarding the bylaw. “It recommends that the board give second and third reading to bylaw 895 and further that bylaw 895 not be adopted until the following conditions have been undertaken to the satisfaction of the regional district,” said Jeff Long, RDMW Manager of Planning & Development Services.

The first conditions outlined by the planning committee is that “the owners enter into a development agreement in a form satisfactory to the RDMW that requires the proponents to undertake various conditions or matters as part of the marine industrial agreement”.

The second condition outlined is that “the owners apply to the Private Managed Forest Council to withdraw that portion of the property to be rezoned and used as part of the marine industrial operation from the Private Managed Forest Land Designation”.

Long noted this condition was so the owners “could be taxed at an industrial tax rate.”

Before the planning committee gave its recommendation, they consulted legal counsel for advice. “One of the questions that came up at the regional planning committee was if the regional district follows through with that resolution is it obligated then to adopt bylaw 895?” asked Long.

He said legal staff informed them they can go forward with it “the way the regional planning has recommended it, and if you then decide you are not satisfied with the proposal, for whatever reason, you are not obligated to adopt it.”

Further advice from legal staff was to make it clear that the bylaw not be brought forward for consideration until those two conditions have been met.

“If he falls through with these items they will be brought back to the board table, if he shows he is going to work with these things then there will be consideration given to adopting the bylaw,” said Long.

The motion to accept the Regional Planning Committee’s recommendation was carried by the board.

The RDMW had previously delayed their decision regarding bylaw 895 during their August 15 meeting. At that time they recommended the delay in order to give its members more time to review the input from the public and they had also requested the board and Regional Planning Committee conduct a site visit to the areas subject to bylaw 895.

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