Comox Valley Regional District chair Edwin Grieve and district CAO Deb Oakman have decided not to attend further meetings or participate in discussions related to 3L Development lands near Stotan Falls. The Nanaimo-based company has proposed to create a riverfront community near the popular swimming hole.
“It’s a private decision, made in an abundance of caution,” a CVRD news release states.
Oakman and Grieve were both absent from Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting where directors deferred a decision about an application from 3L to amend the Regional Growth Strategy.
They returned for the remainder of the meeting where other items were listed in a separate agenda. Neither Oakman nor Grieve returned calls or emails to explain their decision to abstain from items related to 3L.
Company spokesman Kabel Atwall could not expand on an alleged human rights reference to an individual associated with the company. He and 3L lawyers are bound by confidentiality.
“I can’t say anything,” Atwall said. “It’s to be kept confidential and I’ve got to keep it as such.”
The Canadian Human Rights Commission could not comment if a complaint has been filed against the district.
The CVRD board has previously rejected an offer from 3L to purchase the property, saying the proposal is not in synch with the RGS. The offer included Stotan Falls, Bull Island and parkland dedication. The company plans to develop lots for single-family and patio homes tailored for seniors. Total parcel size is 150 hectares.
“The focus related to 3L should be on the process around the developer’s proposal,” the news release states. “It is a fair process, being carried out in the public interest, and we will be following it through.”
Atwall, however, feels the CVRD is not following its own process. For instance, he said it is incorrect to assume 3L will hand over parkland in exchange for a rezoning application.
“I’m not going to give up the land with the most value,” he said. “If I have to give up parkland they’re going to get the stuff with the least value…If it gets cut up, it’s gone forever.”