Plans are underway to expand the City of Courtenay by annexing areas to the south and northeast, and a property to the west.
Courtenay council directed City staff this week to complete the required advertising and referrals to government agencies necessary for the extensions.
The South Courtenay area includes 100 properties at the south end of Park Lane to the area north of Chinook Road.
The west boundary expansion would bring the Baptist Church property on Lake Trail Road into the city, but more expansion in the West Courtenay area around Arden Road is planned for the future. The City is currently preparing a Local Area Plan and public consultation meeting are being scheduled for September.
The City would expand its boundary to the north up to and along Anderton Road. Mostly owned by Edgar Smith of Beaver Meadow Farms and Beaver Meadow Cranberry Corporation, this area includes some farmland, and a 27-hectare section running along Ryan Road out to Anderton Road, which could be developed in the future.
Mayor Larry Jangula told the Record some property owners in the south and — future — west expansions will likely be upset, but there are also property owners who are in favour.
“I can tell you right now, there’s going to be people who are very, very angry about this,” he said. “In there again, there’s a whole pocket of people who have issues and want to come into the city.
“It’s never a unanimous thing and there are always people who definitely do not want to come in, and often it’s about taxes and it’s about cost and it’s about hooking up to sewer.”
In the South Courtenay area, residents were recently surveyed and out of 72 replies, 43 were in favour of coming into Courtenay while 29 were opposed. Twenty-eight landowners did not respond.
The sewer connection fee is expected to range from $25,000 to $30,000 but the City would offer residents up to 15 years to pay the fee. A three-year property tax transitional period for property owners to adjust would also be offered.
According to a City staff report, the Ministry of Health identified the majority of this area as a concern for public health due to failing septic systems. A swath of the area planned for future annexation in the west was similarly marked off by the Ministry.
Jangula also pointed out both areas fit with the Regional Growth Strategy, and planning infrastructure now will help deter headaches in the future.
“It gives our engineering people some idea of sizing of pipes and that sort of thing so that we build the proper infrastructure, so we don’t build it now and then five years later say, ‘Holy crow, our sewer pipes are overwhelmed we have to dig it all up again and put bigger pipes in,'” he said.