The property 3L Developments wants to develop includes land around Stotan Falls. File photo

Cumberland not keen on new ‘settlement node’ adding neary 800 homes

Council members don’t back latest 3L submission to Comox Valley Regional District

A proposed development on the outskirts of Courtenay ran into a snag with at least one local government recently.

In the late spring, 3L Developments, which has been trying to develop land in Area C of the Comox Valley Regional District for more than a decade, resubmitted a plan to amend the CVRD’s Regional Growth Strategy to pave the way for a plan for a new ‘settlement node.’

This would include 780 residential units: 335 single-family homes, 335 secondary suites, 54 townhouse units, 56 multi-family units, 1,400 square metres of commercial floor space and 97 hectares of open space, a community gathering place, and a 10-ha parcel for K’omoks First Nation.

As part of the referral process, the idea has been sent for comment to local governments, and it’s safe to say that council for the Village of Cumberland is not on board.

RELATED STORY: 3L Developments re-applies to Comox Valley Regional District

The sticking point surrounds what are referred to as settlement nodes in the Regional Growth Strategy. These are parts of unincorporated areas in the CVRD that have been identified as areas for future population. The 3L proposal, however, is adjacent to the municipal area, or “complete community.”

“There’s quite a few issues here,” manager of development services Ken Rogers told Cumberland council members at a meeting in August. “It’s not in compliance or future compliance with the Regional Growth Strategy.”

He added if the plan went ahead, it would require the creation of a new type of zone in the area.

“This is a rezoning application. They have not defined what the new zone would be,” he said.

A CVRD map shows three current settlement nodes spread through the electoral areas – specifically, Union Bay, Saratoga and Mount Washington.

Coun. Jesse Ketler, who chairs the regional district board, underscored the importance of the strategy in determining how and where the region grows.

“A lot of input went into the Regional Growth Strategy,” she said. “We don’t want to add another ‘node’ unless we’ve used all the other areas…. There just isn’t the justification for creating a new settlement node.”

Her colleague, Coun. Gwyn Sproule, emphasized the need to avoid spreading around development through too many areas of the Valley.

“It will create car-dependent communities,” she said.

Council unanimously passed a motion not to support the proposal.

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