RD loses appeal against 3L development

Proposed development near Stotan Falls still embroiled in legal battle

  • Apr. 14, 2016 5:00 a.m.

Scott Stanfield

Record staff

 

The regional district has lost an appeal of a BC Supreme Court decision concerning a proposed development near Stotan Falls.

3L Developments hopes to create a riverfront community near the popular swimming hole, with homes and trails at the confluence of the Puntledge and Browns rivers. In 2013, the Nanaimo-based company applied to amend the Regional Growth Strategy in order to develop a 741-lot subdivision. The CVRD board voted against the amendment. In response, 3L filed a petition to challenge the decision in court. Last May, the court found the CVRD was “not reasonable in its decision to not initiate the amendment.” The district was ordered to set the decision aside and to consider the application in a “manner consistent with the mandatory process” set out in the RGS. The CVRD then filed an appeal in the BC Court of Appeal, and a motion to seek a stay of the judge’s decision — which it lost last week.

3L spokesman Kabel Atwall feels the CVRD’s next step is to meet with the company to “tell us where things go from here.

“They’re the ones that messed this whole thing up and cost the taxpayers a bunch more money,” he said. “Now they have to pay all our legal fees from the previous one and the appeal.”

He says 3L legal fees are well over $20,000.

“It’s incumbent upon them to get in touch with us, and let us see how things are going to proceed,” Atwall said. “We’ve got to make decisions also.”

The CVRD is working with its legal counsel to understand the ruling and its next steps.

“We recognize that one of the first steps will be to get in touch with 3L,” said James Warren, the CVRD’s general manager of corporate services.

The RGS establishes that 90 per cent of future growth in the Valley be directed to core areas (Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland), Settlement Expansion Areas adjacent to municipalities, and three settlement nodes of Mount Washington, Saratoga Miracle Beach and Union Bay. Development in core areas is to be serviced by publicly-owned water and sewer systems so that future development can be located in areas that will offset costs of this infrastructure. The remaining 10 per cent is for rural areas, which are primarily large lots with on-site servicing, agricultural areas and resource lands. 3L lands are mostly rural with a small corner located in an SEA.