On municipal maps, there’s an alley, but now a hedge runs between two Crescent Street properties. Photo by Mike Chouinard

On municipal maps, there’s an alley, but now a hedge runs between two Crescent Street properties. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Cumberland holds off transfer of ‘alleyway’ property to homeowner

Village cites need to protect alleyways, while staff cite encroachment issues

Council passed a notion not to close and dispense of some alleyway property in Cumberland at its Nov. 12 meeting.

The request had been for the Village to transfer ownership of the municipal site to an adjacent homeowner. The alleyway in question is between 3349 Crescent St. and 3351 Crescent St.

“That’s the corridor that exists between Third Street and Crescent Street,” manager of development services Ken Rogers told council.

There are trees and a hedge on site, and there may be encroachments from neighbouring properties. The lane is not being used in any way, even as a pedestrian corridor.

The Village has no plans to develop this site in its Alley Enhancement and Maintenance Strategy from 2018. If the Village ever chooses to get rid of it, it would be disposed of at market value, according to the Province’s Community Charter. The adjacent property owner would pay for land appraisal and consolidation, legal services or other costs.

“It would be at zero cost to the municipality,” said Rogers, adding the project would take staff time and resources.

RELATED STORY: Cumberland sign project revitalizes alleyways

If the Village moves ahead, Rogers said it would have to address the issue of the properties encroaching on the land, citing a precedent-setting case from West Vancouver. This could be through measures such as encroachment agreements or removing structures. He added there are other examples of encroachment throughout the community, which could result in a labour-intensive process for the Village.

For now, Rogers said staff was seeking direction from council as to whether to proceed with a bylaw to transfer the alleyway.

The sentiment among council members, though, was that the Village needs to protect alleyways in the community. In this case though, the alley exists on maps but is not really visible.

Coun. Vickey Brown said she went to go look at the site and found a carport, parking spot and a hedge.

“The alleyway is not actually an alleyway anymore at all,” she said.

She has several concerns with the proposal, saying one of the reasons the Village did a survey of alleys was because it recognized their value.

“Especially as we densify our downtown core, those little green spaces become … little gems in a neighbourhoods, and so I feel like we need to hold on to them,” she said.

In this situation, she said, because someone has built on the site, it no longer functioning alley. Brown made a successful motion for staff not to move ahead with the disposition of the property at this time.

Other members of council expressed a wish not to do anything with the property. Mayor Leslie Baird said this case came before council many years earlier, though the request might have come from different homeowners. At that time, the Village denied it.

“We found it was important to keep the alleyways in the community,” she said.

Coun. Jesse Ketler also saw no reason to dispose of the alleyway and that it would open up too many questions for the Village, such as encroachment issues.



mike.chouinard@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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

Just Posted

The Baynes Sound Connector leaves Denman Island en route to Buckley Bay. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Baynes Sound Connector undergoing upgrades

The MV Quinitsa is providing service between Buckley Bay and Denman Island

B.C. Centre for Disease Control maps showing new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 4-10. (BCCDC image)
Parksville-Qualicum passes Nanaimo in new COVID-19 cases

Greater Victoria had more new cases than any other Island area: B.C. Centre for Disease Control

Erin Chan accepted her prize of a Staycation at The Kingfisher valued at $500, for winning the  Discover Comox Valley Vacation Guide Photo Contest. Photo by Nicole Fowler
Winner announced in Discover Comox Valley Vacation Guide Photo Contest

Erin Chan has been named the grand prize winner of the Discover… Continue reading

Three Legged Dog Productions performed Jesus Christ Superstar in 2019. Tim Penney photo
Non-profit plans musical renaissance in the Comox Valley

A non-profit society hopes to keep musical theatre alive this summer in… Continue reading

The development permit application is for the back of a property at 2522 Dunsmuir Ave. Photo by Mike Chouinard
Privacy, heritage reasons for secondary house denial in Cumberland

Majority of council wants to see something more in line with Camp Road’s character

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

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

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

The father of Aaliyah Rosa planted a tree and laid a plaque in her memory in 2018. (Langley Advance Times files)
Final witness will extend Langley child murder trial into May or June

Lengthy trial began last autumn with COVID and other factors forcing it to take longer than expected

The Connect Warming Centre has been operating as an emergency overnight shelter in recent weeks. File photo
Grant funds would provide urgent, temporary support to homeless in Comox Valley

At its April 13 meeting, the Comox Valley Regional District board agreed… Continue reading

The corner of 96th Avenue and Glover Road in Fort Langley now has traffic signals, and new “touchless” signal activation buttons. (Matthew Claxton/Langley Advance Times)
Busy Fort Langley intersection gets ‘touchless’ crosswalk signals

The new traffic light started operation in April

A crossing guard stops traffic as students wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 arrive at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
COVID-infected students in Lower Mainland schools transmitting to 1 to 2 others: data

Eight to 13 per cent of COVID cases among students in the Lower Mainland were acquired in schools, B.C. says

The 5th Street Bridge Project, which began April 14, is expected to take 6 months to complete. Scott Stanfield photo
5th Street Bridge Project begins in Courtenay

The 5th Street Bridge rehabilitation project began Thursday in Courtenay. The $6.5… Continue reading

Most Read