A concept map of Nanaimo Airport, including proposed commercial development along the Trans-Canada Highway. (SNC Lavalin/Nanaimo Airport Commission image)

A concept map of Nanaimo Airport, including proposed commercial development along the Trans-Canada Highway. (SNC Lavalin/Nanaimo Airport Commission image)

Residents speak against RDN bylaws supporting future development at Nanaimo Airport

Regional district held a public hearing Wednesday

Residents are not in favour of Regional District of Nanaimo bylaws that aim to rezone Nanaimo Airport lands and support commercial usage.

Two airport-related bylaws are before the RDN, one seeking to amend the official community plan for RDN electoral area A, where the airport is situated, and one that would rezone sections of airport land. The bylaws seek to acknowledge current airport use, achieve consistency with the adopted Nanaimo Airport land-use plan and support commercial uses complementary to airport land near Trans-Canada Highway, said Courtney Simpson, senior RDN planner, during public consultation Wednesday.

Affected people voiced dissent at the hearing.

Mayta Ryn said any decision to open airport lands for further commercial-industrial development that is not directly related to the airport, is “dangerous and short-sighted.” An aquifer under the airport is a valuable water resource that should be protected, she said.

RELATED: Nanaimo Airport, RDN at odds over land-use jurisdiction

“Its relationship with Haslam Creek and the Nanaimo River means that it is important to anyone sourcing their water directly from the aquifer and/or both of the water courses…” said Ryn. “Any contamination of the aquifer from industrial activity is a grave danger for the community, the City of Nanaimo and [RDN]. At the very least, a wastewater treatment plant should be a prerequisite for any commercial/industrial development on the airport lands, not an expectation.”

South Wellington resident David Dunaway noted that the airport land is already subject to federal and provincial bylaws.

“The bylaw itself doesn’t create an airport land-use zone, the regional district itself has recognized that it doesn’t have the power or the authority to create an airport land-use zone, so it’s just obfuscation, semantics to try and justify a bylaw that nobody wants,” he said.

In an Oct. 22 letter to the RDN, Dave Devana, Nanaimo Airport president and CEO, said he has no issues with the bylaws, “as they clearly state ‘the RDN supports airport and airport-related use described in the Nanaimo Airport land-use plan and the Nanaimo Airport development design guidelines.’”

“The key is that the RDN is aligning its OCP and land use with the Nanaimo Airport’s land-use plan and guidelines, and the RDN recognizes that the Nanaimo Airport is regulated by the federal government (not the RDN) for airport and airport-related purposes,” Devana wrote.

The bylaws have received first and second readings and input from Wednesday’s hearing will be compiled in a staff report for the RDN board, said Simpson.

Third reading is expected at the RDN’s board meeting Dec. 8, said Vanessa Craig, RDN Gabriola director and hearing chairperson.

For more information, go to www.getinvolved.rdn.ca/airport/.



reporter@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram

AirportNanaimo Regional District

 

A rendering of Nanaimo Airport land, including proposed commercial development along the Trans-Canada Highway. (SNC Lavalin/Nanaimo Airport Commission image)

A rendering of Nanaimo Airport land, including proposed commercial development along the Trans-Canada Highway. (SNC Lavalin/Nanaimo Airport Commission image)

Just Posted

Nurses at the Cowichan District Hospital are thanking the community for following the health protocols during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Pictured from left are nurses Jacqueline Kendall, Melissa Bustard and Heidi Ferris. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Still in this together: Island nurses finally see light coming after a year like no other

May 10-16 is National Nursing Week, giving pause to reflect on the pressures of a pandemic

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

Victoria residents downtown on Saturday afternoon. (Jake Romphf/News staff)
PHOTOS: Victoria residents out in the sun Saturday

Some biked downtown, while others got their COVID-19 vaccine

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

Victoria police responded to a vehicle where this dog was found in distress due to the heat after being left inside. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Hot cars can be fatal to dogs left inside, Victoria police reminds public after distress calls

Victoria police found two dogs in a car with an internal temperature of 47 C on Friday

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read