If the Union Bay Improvement District is ever dissolved — as is being proposed by the newly-formed Protect Our Water Group — it won’t work in favour of Kensington Island Properties, says the vice-president of the company.
Brian McMahon said it would just be another time delay in the plan to build houses, a golf course and a marina walkway in the seaside community south of Courtenay.
The group is petitioning Peter Fassbender, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, to dissolve the UBID and transfer its responsibilities to the Comox Valley Regional District.
But the ministry says a byelection is first needed to replace trustees Anne Alcock and Alan Webb, and former chair Carol Molstad, who have resigned from the UBID board.
“The irony is, if they turn it over to the CVRD, who do they think is going to pay for the (water) system?” McMahon said. “Union Bay owns the lake, they have all of their infrastructure. They also have the fire department. Whatever the CVRD would take over would take a lot of time. To wait for that, that’s not in the cards.”
Upgrades to Union Bay’s water system need to be completed by next year, as mandated by Island Health.
“We were upgrading their water system at our cost,” McMahon said. “We have $1.2 million that’s been set aside that is in our lawyer’s trust account for the upgrades…When the three trustees quit, they said they quit because I wouldn’t sign the agreement. They’ve left the community in a lurch. They’ve bailed on a whim, and blamed me for it.”
McMahon has a binder containing 424 letters supporting KIP’s proposal, which he says represents 67 per cent of Union Bay landowners. He feels he has been stonewalled in his attempts to meet with the board.
In her letter of resignation, Alcock says the board has “been accused by this developer of not wanting to meet with him” over the years. “This is simply not true.”
Over the past 16-17 years, KIP has spent about $10 million on the project.
“There’s no finer piece of property for development in the Comox Valley, on the north part of Vancouver Island, anything north of Victoria,” McMahon said. “This is it.”