General News · 27th July 2013
The recent article by Carrie Saxifrage entitled “Bartholomew Woods – Corrected Version” requires further corrections.
The two properties were purchased in 2005 by DR Ventures, in which I have a minority interest.
DR Ventures has never attempted to rezone the properties.
Rezoning requires submission of a rezoning application to the Regional District together with plans for the proposed lots. Following a Staff review and 2nd Reading by the Regional District a Public Hearing is held. None of these steps has occurred.
Prior to logging we invited public input, meeting with community representatives and conducting a walk of the properties.
On the basis of these meetings we developed some preliminary concept plans that we believed would satisfy the community goals and objectives that were expressed to us, including public trails, protection of old growth areas and provision for a community forest.
I stated in one of these meetings that the community would find me to be the most accommodating developer they could work with, with the proviso that our company could not afford a long and protracted approval process.
We held a Public Information Meeting with the community to present and discuss these options for development, however the meeting was dominated by several individuals who did not allow us the courtesy of finishing our presentation.
As a result of this meeting and a subsequent series of very negative articles in Tidelines, we concluded that a rezoning application would be a lengthy and controversial process with a low probability of success and began logging the properties.
We have now listed the properties for sale and Carrie takes exception to the realtor’s brochure.
She states that the brochure “doesn’t reveal that both these parcels are zoned forestry (F-1). In fact, it suggests that the northern 77 acre parcel allows one single family dwelling and one cottage per 10 acres… This just isn’t true under current zoning.”
Either she hasn’t read the brochure or is being deliberately misleading because the brochure indicates in several places that the land is currently zoned for forestry. The brochure states very clearly that it shows a “Subdivision Concept Plan Using OCP Guidelines.”
Although it is currently a non-conforming F-1 zoned property (the minimum parcel size for F-1 is 100 acres), the majority of the 77 acre parcel was designated for residential in the 1995 OCP and continues to be designated for residential in the new OCP, although with a slightly lower density.
The OCP has been many years in the making, and is a true community undertaking representing the views of many people. We, as landowners are prepared to work within the guidelines of the OCP and any plan that we may bring forward will comply with the spirit and direction of this community vision.
Carries states that there is no benefit to the community for a rezone and no public access to the south end of the lake. Looking at a map will show that there is access to Hague Lake from Bellwood Road, which the property has frontage on. Benefits to the community are part of the “give and take” of a rezoning process, and could include public trail dedications, protected area covenants and other benefits arrived at through rational and non-confrontational dialogue.