3L Developments has stated it is pulling the plug on its plans to build a residential neighbourhood in the Stotan Falls area. The company has repeatedly offered to turn the Stotan Falls area into parkland, if the CVRD were to amend its Regional Growth Strategy to allow for a residential community to be built in the area. The CVRD has steadfastly turned down the development company. File photo.

3L Developments has stated it is pulling the plug on its plans to build a residential neighbourhood in the Stotan Falls area. The company has repeatedly offered to turn the Stotan Falls area into parkland, if the CVRD were to amend its Regional Growth Strategy to allow for a residential community to be built in the area. The CVRD has steadfastly turned down the development company. File photo.

3L says negotiations for Stotan Falls development and parkland are over

The company said there will be no further development applications filed with the CVRD

3L Developments has declared an end to all negotiations, claiming it no longer has any interest in building a residential community in the area northwest of the city of Courtenay.

The development company has been asking the Comox Valley Regional District to amend its Regional Growth Strategy to allow for residential development in the area for more than a decade.

The property package known as Riverwood includes 300 acres of land surrounding the Puntledge River, including Stotan Falls, a once-popular swimming hole.

The development company has repeatedly promised to turn the area surrounding the falls and river into a public park, in exchange for allowing the creation of a 780-unit residential community.

In a statement sent to media from 3L Developments public relations manager Caroline Nestor on Tuesday, Jan. 12, the company said there will be no further development applications filed with the CVRD.

“After 14 years, it has spent a great deal of time and money in this goal and is not willing to do this any longer,” reads the statement. “There is no current development application and 3L has decided that it will not make another application.”

The statement comes on the heels of a petition started by a group of residents, urging the city to annex the land surrounding the Puntledge and turn it into a park.

3L acknowledged the group in its Jan. 12 statement.

“We applaud these residents and wish them success in their efforts to have the property annexed into the City of Courtenay and developed in accordance with the Regional District’s Regional Growth Strategy.”

In the statement, 3L suggests the local governments purchase the land from the developer.

“3L hopes that the Comox Valley Regional District, City of Courtenay, or other public or private party is willing and able to find a way to purchase the property so the public can have its park and access to the falls.”

The statement suggests the property is now for sale, although a follow-up email from The Record inquiring about the asking price for the property had yet to receive a response at the time this article was published.

The total 500-acre property has a 2020 assessed value of $4.22 million.

RELATED: Owner says he would rather sell property than log it

In the meantime, 3L states due to liability issues public access to Stotan Falls remains prohibited.

“Because there is serious legal liability to the owner in allowing public access, especially as the land becomes an active resource industrial site, public access cannot be allowed,” the company said in its statement.

When asked what an “active resource industrial site” referred to, Nestor would not elaborate.

“Moving forward, because this land is private property we will be using it for our own company purposes,” she said, in response. “No public access will be allowed.”

The CVRD is still hopeful of a resolution in that regard.

“The CVRD is currently in discussion with 3L regarding public access to Stotan Falls,” said CVRD chair Jesse Ketler. “We continue to promote the conservation of natural assets and greenspaces of the Comox Valley for their recreational and watershed protection values. Part of this protection is offered through the Regional Growth Strategy which directs development to occur in existing core settlement areas.”

She added that a purchase of the property is not out of the realm of possibility.

“The CVRD is also undertaking a regional parks feasibility study,” Ketler said. “This is an important first step in confirming community support, and in confirming the ability to raise money to purchase lands for public use and conservation for generations to come.”

Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells said he recognizes the public interest in the issue, although it’s currently not in the city’s jurisdiction.

“While Stotan Falls is outside the city of Courtenay, our council understands the significant public interest that surrounds this property,” he said in an email response. “We understand that the CVRD is in discussions with the owner with respect to public access to Stotan Falls and Courtenay supports those efforts. The city will continue looking towards the Comox Valley Regional Growth Strategy and numerous other community master plans that have been developed over many years to guide how we grow into the future.”

The Record has reached out to Wells to discuss the intricacies of annexation, and will publish a follow-up article on that topic.

Like us on
Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Comox Valley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Royston resident and photographer Tanja Kerr took a quick video of two eagles taking a quick dip in the water earlier this week. Video still/Tanja Kerr
Video: Eagle spotting in Royston

Photographer Tanja Kerr ensures her camera is always nearby

Rod Bitten of Union Bay won $500,000 in the Lotto Max draw on Jan. 15. Photo supplied
Union Bay electrician gets shocking surprise with $500K Extra win

Rod Bitten has been hard at work with home renovations, which is… Continue reading

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Oyster River Fire Rescue members were called out to a suspicious fire in Black Creek. Two vehicles parked at a private residence were destroyed by fire. Photo courtesy Oyster River Fire Rescue
Suspicious fire destroys two vehicles at Black Creek residence

Oyster River Fire Rescue personnel were dispatched to a fire at a… Continue reading

The Northeast Woods in Comox is a popular area for hikers and mountain bike riders. It's also a protected park and conservation area. Photo by Scott Stanfield
Comox Valley RCMP seeking witnesses to ‘indecent act’ in Northeast Woods

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after a man was seen… Continue reading

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. Premier, health officials to discuss next steps in COVID immunization plan

Nearly 31,000 doses of vaccine the province expected by Jan. 29 could be curtailed due to production issues

Homalco First Nation said that it will intervene in the judicial review sought by aquaculture companies with regards to federal decision to phase out 19 Discovery Island fish farms by 2022. In this picture from Sept. 24, a demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver.(Quinn Bender photo)
Chief says push for fish farm judicial review a challenge to reconciliation, Aboriginal Rights

Homalco First Nation chief reacts to Mowi and Cermaq intervention in Discovery Island decision

Vancouver Canucks’ Travis Hamonic grabs Montreal Canadiens’ Josh Anderson by the face during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horvat scores winner as Canucks dump Habs 6-5 in shootout thriller

Vancouver and Montreal clash again Thursday night

A suspect has been arrested in connection with fires at Drinkwater Elementary (pictured) and École Mount Prevost. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Arson suspect arrested after fires at Cowichan Valley schools

Drinkwater Elementary and Mount Prevost schools hit within a week

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Nanaimo RCMP are seeking the public’s help after a man allegedly assaulted a clerk at James General Store on Victoria Road on Jan. 18. (Submitted photo)
Suspect screams at customer then assaults store clerk in Nanaimo

RCMP asking for information about Jan. 18 incident at James General Store

Most Read