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General News · 6th May 2022
Leona Skovgaard
If you haven’t heard about the proposed Gowlland Harbour Views development on Quadra Island, consider yourself lucky. This boondoggle has been going on since 2011. In contravention of the Official Community Plan, the applicant is proposing a development of 51 houses, a campground, a marina and a cafe on land that is zoned silviculture and in the Agricultural Land Reserve. Without a clear mandate to engage with this application, the Strathcona Regional District has coddled this applicant to the point of brokering an even less sustainable application by exchanging installation of a sewer system for a reduction in lot size from 5 acres to 2.5 acres and throwing in a density bonus which could further reduce the lot size.

So what does this have to do with Cortes? Well, this idea can easily travel across the water to you. And rumour has it that your Area Director is in favour of the proposal. It would be good to find out if that is true. On April 20, 2022, at the Public Hearing, it was demonstrated that Quadra residents are overwhelmingly opposed to Gowlland Harbour Views. But this does not mean that the application will be denied. There is the always the possibility that the SRD will decide that it knows better than Quadra what is good for Quadra.

All hypothetical? Perhaps you’d rather wait and fight your own battle when the time comes? Well, long before such a development happens on Cortes, you would feel the effects of such an alteration of the landscape on Quadra. Let’s set aside the nature carnage, and the negative effects that would be Quadra’s – the reduction in air quality and the increased need for water, medical services and firefighting capability etc. Let’s think in simple terms of the coming and going from our islands. Imagine the number of vehicles that this development would produce. Picture adding those vehicles to the lineup on your trips “to town”. There won’t even be room for your bicycle on that next ferry.

The power you have is now. Whether or not the Gowlland Harbour Views development goes ahead will be decided by a vote of the Directors of the SRD. Your Director’s vote will carry as much weight as Quadra’s Director’s vote. Please contact your Director and make your view known, so that your Director can properly represent you and not, in the absence of any other information, indulge in personal opinion on this issue. Cortesians and Quadrites sometimes jostle each other. Now is the time for us to behave like kissing cousins and shut down a conversation that has been allowed to go on far too long.