Staff and management of Tree Island Yogurt show off a Silver Award for Product of the Year at the FoodProWest Awards Gala in 2016. File photo

Courtenay yogurt maker looks to site in neighbouring community

Tree Island has variance application before Cumberland council for a facility

Cumberland council is considering a proposal for a Tree Island Yogurt facility on a site in the Village.

At Monday’s meeting, they were presented with a variance request for a site at 3901 Bevan Rd. This would subdivide the site into six lots, including space for the Tree Island facility. The area is located on a site north of the Comox Valley Waste Management facility, about 2.5 km northwest of the downtown core of Cumberland.

Beyond an ecological inventory and assessment report from Ecofish Research, required for the variance, there was little detail about the proposal. Staff emphasized this is all preliminary and the variance for the subdivision is only one phase.

“You will see another report,” planner Joanne Rees told council. “This is just about cutting it up into six lots.”

Still, it was clear there was some enthusiasm for the idea.

“I’m super-excited about this,” Coun. Vickey Brown said.

RELATED STORY: Demand doubles for Tree Island Yogurt in past year

According to the staff report, Tree Island wants to subdivide the 6.9-hectare site on Bevan, as well as construct a new facility on one of the lots. The company hired Ecofish to complete an inventory for the site, as required by the Village’s official community plan (OCP). The site is already zoned as industrial under the OCP, but is included in an environmental development permit area.

The report outlines a number of considerations such as the aquifer, soils, plant life and animals; potential impact; and possible mitigation measures. For example, while the report says there is a low likelihood of mortality for birds, it recommends measures such as confining work to clear or maintain vegetation and debris to seasons outside of breeding time for birds in the region.

At the report’s conclusion, it suggests future development on the other lots could require similar mitigation measures as the yogurt facility. Additionally, the consultants call for a survey of invasive plant species to be completed during growing season, as the site-level survey was conducted prior to “leaf-out” for most plants.

The bio-inventory is required as a condition of the development permit application. The inventory covers the whole property proposed for subdivision, while the impact assessment looks at only the site proposed for the yogurt facility. The report mentions the remaining properties would likely provide space for future light industrial development.

Council decided to refer the matter to its Advisory Planning Commission prior to a decision. They also considered whether to hold a public meeting. However, the sentiment among all members of council was that there are only two neighbouring properties, neither of which is residential, so they chose not to hold a meeting.

Tree Island is a Courtenay-based company that produces yogurt. Owners Merissa Myles and Scott DiGuistini started the company after returning from a trip to France during which they got to taste artisanal yogurt. It is based at 3747 Island Highway South.

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

Just Posted

North Island College announces 2020 graduation award winners

North Island College has announced the award recipients for the 2020 Graduation… Continue reading

Couple opts for plan B for wedding in Courtenay

Pandemic restrictions prompt April Powell and Hayden Eely to change plans for the big day

‘Someone knows something’: a look into Vancouver Island missing persons with interactive map

There are more than three dozen people listed as missing throughout Vancouver Island

Provincial COVID-19 data can now be used for B.C. to prepare for a second wave

In the past week, B.C. has seen a slight spike in daily test-positive case counts

Union Bay water plant now finished

Work allows health authority to lift boil water advisory

Islanders want BC Ferries to follow order that lets residents board before tourists

For ferry-dependent communities, ferries are often the sole practical lifeline to work, school or medical appointments.

Beverly Hills 90210 star’s family selling Vancouver Island Beach Resort

You can own Jason Priestley’s Terrace Beach Resort in Ucluelet for less than $5 million

Genetic detectives begin work to trace spread of COVID-19 in Canada

The kinds of genetic technology being used for this project did not exist when SARS hit Canada in 2003

Sports fishers protest Fraser River Chinook closures

Public Fishery Alliance wants hatchery fish open for harvest

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Most Read