Three of Courtenay’s four applications for boundary extensions have been approved.
Formerly part of the Comox Valley Regional District, Beaver Meadow Farms off Anderton Road, Baptist Church on Lake Trail Road and Crown Isle-owned Lannan Lands (formerly known as Lannan Forest) on Lannan Road are now officially part of the city.
Mayor Larry Jangula says the City has not yet received word on the application to annex about 100 properties in the South Courtenay area.
Jangula adds he’s pleased the three areas approved are now part of Courtenay.
“It’s absolutely fantastic, I mean, especially regarding the church,” he says. “If you look at the Baptist Church, it is one of the largest congregations in the Valley with over 1,000 families.
“They’re basically hoping to expand their building, which this would now give them an opportunity to do so. They’ve been sitting on a septic field and basically there’s a fish-bearing stream that’s very near their property so this is a very positive thing for the environment and for the community.”
The 40-acre Lannan Lands area has a controversial past. Years ago, Silverado Land Corporation, affiliated with Crown Isle, outbid then-called Comox Strathcona Regional District and bought the land. The property was logged in 2010, with some public outcry.
Jangula notes the cleared land will likely be developed in the future, and that could be a good thing.
“It butts right up to Crown Isle and if it’s going to be developed anywhere near the standard that Crown Isle is I think it’s something we’re going to be very proud of in the City — and I’m sure it will,” he says.
Though largely farmland, the Beaver Meadows area includes a 27-hectare section running along Ryan Road out to Anderton Road, which could be developed in the future.
Courtenay director of development services Peter Crawford had previously noted all applications except for South Courtenay, were applicant-driven. The South Courtenay expansion has been in the works for about 1.5 years — and according to Crawford, plenty of community outreach was done showing 60 per cent of resident responses in favour of coming into the city.
Sewer servicing of the area via the development by Buckstone Investments Ltd. was a main driver for the expansion as well as concern around failing septic systems on some of the properties in the expansion area.
Courtenay used alternative approval processes to receive elector approval, which means at least 10 per cent of electors within the city, (not in the areas where the proposed expansion would occur), must call for a referendum for one to happen.
The number of electors did not reach 10 per cent for any of the areas: 25 responses were received for South Courtenay, 36 for Beaver Meadows, 11 for Baptist Church and 36 for Lannan Lands.