Politicians frittering away ‘golden opportunity’ along Puntledge River

Dear editor,

Every so often a community has a golden opportunity.

Dear editor,

Every so often a community has a golden opportunity.

The Comox Valley is in the position to realize one now.

What if I told you that the Comox Valley has an opportunity to secure 185 acres of riverfront property complete with many swimming holes, cross-country bike paths and walking trails. In addition, the acquisition would preclude private development from closing off riverfront access to the public, access that the public has enjoyed for years.

This access was always on private forestry land that has since been sold by the forestry company as no longer viable to them. We have the opportunity to gain this beautiful parkland at no cost to the taxpayer.

Now I am sure you realize that I am talking about the land along the Puntledge River including Stotan Falls.

The present owner is prepared to give up this fantastic riverfront parkland, a jewel of a park with no rival in the Valley.

The only consideration the owner is asking for is the rezoning of the non-riverfront property to develop a very green, small acreage subdivision with a small commercial centre to service the needs of those residential owners. A subdivision completely serviced and paid for by the developer.

What do you say is the problem?

The problem is a document developed by the local politicians, both municipal and regional, called the Regional Growth Strategy.

It is not so much the document but how it is being used. The strategy was developed with a five-year review but a provision to amend it during that five-year period or any other five-year period if it was renewed.

This amendment provision was to allow for major or minor amendments that may be required during the life of the RGS. I would think that this opportunity to receive a 185-acre riverfront park free of cost would justify considering an amendment to the RGS supporting the property owner’s proposal.

Unfortunately, some politicians are having a hard time seeing the benefits of the riverfront park over their loss of control on which areas in the Comox Valley get developed.

I would unhesitatingly say that if you took a look at what would be in the Valley’s best interest (politicians surely should consider this as well), the gaining of this parkland would rank right up there as a No. 1 priority.

There are two issues here — a rezoning of land and the securing of a 125-acre riverfront park. I believe the acquisition of the park should take precedence over the rezoning of some land.

This Valley will continue to grow and require more parkland. Please think about whether this park should be added to the Valley for all of us to enjoy it or stay in private hands.

As I said, this is a once-in-a-lifetime golden opportunity for the Valley — let’s not lose it.

J. Murray Presley,

Courtenay

 

Just Posted

Thieves break into mailboxes overnight in Courtenay, Comox

Thieves in Comox were busy overnight on March 17, breaking into more… Continue reading

Man convicted of Courtenay couple’s murder

Michael Philip Simard, 45, was charged with two counts of second-degree murder.

Comox Valley RCMP looking for help to identify shoplifters

The Comox Valley RCMP is asking for assistance from the public to… Continue reading

Haida Manga artist to speak at North Island College

Award-winning visual artist and author Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas will speak at North… Continue reading

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

Comox Valley Hospice Society finds new Ocean Front home

Comox Valley Hospice Society (CVHS) recently announced plans to construct a new… Continue reading

Budget to tout Liberal economic record, provide distraction from SNC furor

This is the Liberal government’s fourth and final budget before the election

Horvat scores 16 seconds into OT as Canucks beat Blackhawks 3-2

Pettersson sets rookie scoring record for Vancouver

Vancouver Island overdue for the big one, can also expect mega-thrust tsunami

The last big earthquake was 70 years ago in Courtenay

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Most Read