Tape marks where the city property line runs through Brad Amor’s deck. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Residents want City of Courtenay to move proposed trail route

City says route closer to the shoreline poses number of problems

Some residents in the south end of Courtenay want to know why the planned seaside trail extension will be so close to their homes.

The extension for the South Courtenay Riverway will actually be on City property but will be roughly 50 feet closer than the makeshift route people having been using at present.

In a couple of cases, the property line cuts through flower beds, as well as a shed and even someone’s deck. The residents point out the structures have existed for many years, even decades. They called a news conference on Friday to make their point and express frustration over what they see as the city’s unwillingness to compromise on ideas such as a land swap.

“They’re really just being arbitrary and unfair,” says resident Sandra Wagner.

The residents put up tape and other markers at the event to show the property lines and where they think the trail could be built.

RELATED STORY: Planning continues for South Courtenay Riverway Extension

Brad Amor has lived at the location for 18 years. The proposal would run right through his deck, according to where the tape shows. This means he would have to take down the deck on his home.

He also had questions about what the planned trail route will mean for his own privacy as trail users stroll by.

“They can see what I’m eating for dinner they’re so close,” he said.

The stretch of land in question, in the 3500 block of South Island Highway, affects five properties, and four have asked for land to be swapped. They have offered to commit $10,000 to help cover any legal or surveying costs.

They say they have also been told the matter has been discussed in camera. Land discussions are usually held in camera for local government, with motions later being brought forward at open meetings.

“We’ve been trying to get them to talk to us for a year,” says Sally Roth. “We’ve tried for the past year to negotiate with the city.”

Her husband Don adds they do not know why the City will not address their concerns.

“It remains a mystery to us,” he said.

The trail, itself, is not the issue.

“We do support the trail. We will enjoy it. We will use it,” said Jennifer Sadee.

The residents even brought out trail users to show support. Tom Lagemann does not live in the area but uses the stretch. He would like to see the official trail stay closer to the current stretch people use, which he says is “already perfect,” and he thinks the current City plans will cost more money than the City needs to spend.

Sadee and her husband Robert think the residents could work out an agreement with the City that would please everyone.

“It can be a win-win situation,” Robert said.

The message they have got from the City is that it wants to move the trail inland because of concerns of global warming and rising sea levels, but they feel there is a point halfway where the City could put the trail, without it coming so close to their backyards. They feel many trail users do not know how far the trail will be moved away from the shoreline.

A City spokesperson responded to several of the residents’ concerns, saying it did offer encroachment agreements with three of the owners.

Regarding land swaps, the City’s position is that it would not be in the best interests of the wider community. Moving the trail closer to the water, the City said, would leave the trail at greater risk from sea-level rise, erosion and damage to existing vegetation that helps protect from coastal erosion. It also would pose a greater risk of disturbing sensitive archaeological sites in the area.

The City added that it had good feedback from other property owners through public consultation last fall on the connector trail issue.

Finally, it also expects to post information about the route on the City of Courtenay website based on input from a landscape architect, archaeologists and environmental consultant in the coming weeks.


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


Sandra Wagner points to a trail location closer to the shoreline during the news conference. Photo by Mike Chouinard

Just Posted

A photo of the missing mushroom pickers from the Lil’Wat Nation near Pemberton: River Leo (left) and dad Peter Oleski. Facebook photo/Sea to Sky Road Conditions page
Two Comox Valley-based search organizations assisting in missing Pemberton mushroom pickers

Two members from the Lil’Wat Nation were last seen Oct. 22

Students at Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary kicked off the Everybody Deserves A Smile (EDAS) campaign in 2019. Scott Stanfield photo
Everybody Deserves a Smile campaign adapts to COVID-19 challenges

“We didn’t want to lose our heartfelt hands-on approach.”

Wind and waves were part of the reason why the Sail Canada High Performance Team selected HMCS Quadra as the winter training base for Tokyo 2021. Photo by Ken Dool
National sailing team prepares for Olympics at HMCS Quadra in Comox

HMCS Quadra is serving as the winter training base for the Canadian… Continue reading

Courtenay residents will have a substantial schedule change for curbside trash collection beginning in January 2021. (Ben Lypka/Black Press file)
Courtenay moving to a zone system for curbside trash collection

New system means collection days will change with every statutory holiday

A jubilant Ronna-Rae Leonard salutes the crowd at her victory party at the Avalanche Bar & Grill. (photo by Scott Stanfield)
UPDATE: Leonard declared early winner for Courtenay-Comox

NDP incumbent held similar margin of lead throughout the evening

FILE – Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry provides the latest update on the COVID-19 pandemic in the province during a press conference in the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Thursday, October 22, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. shatters COVID-19 records with 817 weekend cases; masks now expected indoors

Three people have died over the past three reporting periods

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

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

RCMP have released more details regarding what led up to an arrest caught on video in Williams Lake Sunday, Oct. 26. (Facebook video screenshot)
Review launched after ‘high-risk, multi-jurisdictional’ chase, arrest in Williams Lake

RCMP launching a full review and code of conduct investigation

Freighter drags anchor towards Boulder Point Oct. 22. It came within 730 metres of the shore, according to maps from the Port of Nanaimo. (Photo submitted)
MacGregor introduces bill to address freighter anchorages along the South Coast

Concerns about the environment, noise, pollution and safety abundant

B.C. limits events in private homes to household, plus ‘safe six’ amid COVID-19 surge

Henry issued a public health order limiting private gatherings to one household, plus a group of ‘safe six’ only

B.C. Liberal Leader Andrew Wilkinson speaks during a drive-in car rally campaign stop at a tour bus operator, in Delta, Saturday, Oct. 17, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Andrew Wilkinson stepping down as B.C. Liberal leader

Will stay on until the next party leader is chosen

Harvesters participating in the extended commercial halibut season will need to land their catch in either Prince Rupert (pictured), Vancouver, or Port Hardy by Dec. 14. (File photo)
B.C.’s commercial halibut season extended three weeks

COVID-19 market disruptions at the root of DFO’s decision

Campbell River's new hospital, July 2018
Nurse diverts opiates and falsifies records at Campbell River Hospital

Nurse facing disciplinary action for moving opiates out of the hospital

Most Read