The next step in a development proposed near Stotan Falls is scheduled for discussion at the July 16 regional district committee of the whole.
Kabel Atwall of 3L Developments expects the committee will decide to either process the application, defer it or refuse the application to construct homes and develop trails at the confluence of the Puntledge and Browns rivers.
“Hopefully they’ll want to process it and then we can move forward,” Atwall said. “There’s still a process to go through after that but at least the procedures will be put in place, and it would go through the referral process and the public consultation.”
3L had closed two sets of gates on Duncan Bay Main and enforced No Trespassing signs at Stotan Falls after the CVRD board rejected an offer to purchase the property for $9 million. The offer included Stotan Falls and Bull Island. In a letter to 3L president David Dutcyvich, board chair Edwin Grieve said directors do not support the “intensive urban residential development that 3L is proposing and are concerned about the impacts that such a development would have on the surrounding resource lands and agricultural areas.”
The district said 3L could apply to rezone, subdivide or amend the Regional Growth Strategy. The company chose the latter.
The gate closure prompted a groundswell of support, including a protest at the falls, to keep the popular swimming hole and hiking area open to the public.
As a gesture to resolve the situation, the company re-opened the gates last month.
“We’re not intending to close them at this point,” Atwall said. “We’re not asking for a definitive decision from them, let’s just keep things moving forward.”
Local realtor Anna Jorgensen supports the proposed Riverwood community, which she considers an environmentally responsible development that would add economic value to the Comox Valley.
Over the course of a 10-15 year build-out, the plan is to develop at least 600 lots for single-family homes and patio homes tailored for seniors. The project includes nine kilometres of trails, a parking lot and washrooms, links to public bus routes and a commercial centre that would serve Forbidden Plateau residents. It would create about 2,500 man years of employment, translating into 150-180 jobs and another 80-95 indirect jobs, according to Atwall.
Jorgensen said she is not an owner or part owner of Riverwood or 3L, nor has she been remunerated or promised any remuneration for her endorsement.
“There’s a number of people that want to see us move forward,” Atwall said. “Not everybody’s against what we’re doing.”