CRD Petitions Province to Purchase Lands Adjacent to Juan de Fuca Trail

Sep 14, 2011

Victoria, BC – The Capital Regional District (CRD) is calling on the Provincial government to protect land adjacent to the Juan de Fuca (JDF) Provincial Park Marine Trail, now that Land Use Committee A has rejected a resort development proposal by Marine Trail Holdings’ Ender Ilkay.

“I have voted to deny the Marine Trail Holdings rezoning application because it was clear to me that the vast majority of Juan de Fuca and CRD residents wish the land to remain forest and preferably parkland,” said Juan de Fuca Electoral Area Director Mike Hicks. “There was little support for a resort development of any size.”

The development application would have seen 257 cabins, one resort lodge, two recreation buildings six caretaker residences and a public park constructed adjacent to the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail. Three days of public hearings showed almost unanimous public opposition to the proposal.

“We are very much hoping that the Province will work to intervene for the sake of the Marine Trail parklands,” said CRD Board Chair Geoff Young. “Release of the Tree Farm License lands in 2007 created an unprecedented situation for the CRD and for planning in the JDF Rural Resource area. The fallout from this decision could be partially mitigated by preserving the Marine Trail Holdings lands as parkland, which would prevent resource extraction in an area bordering the park. This is something that the CRD does not have the ability to achieve.”

With no development approval in place, the lands adjacent to the JDF Marine Trail will be subject to resource extraction (such as logging or mining) or sale, either together as one property, or in seven separate parcels. The CRD will have no power to prevent resource extraction or sale adjacent to the park from happening.

In 2009, the CRD was unsuccessful in an appeal of the BC Supreme Court’s December 2008 decision regarding Juan de Fuca Electoral Area (JDFEA) local area planning bylaws and the voting arrangement in the area. The appeal’s decision rendered a number of interim bylaws invalid, which were passed in response to the release of 28,000 hectares of land, owned by Western Forest Products (WFP) from Tree Farm Licenses 6, 19 and 25 on Vancouver Island by the BC Minister of Forests. The CRD bylaws were passed in order to give more time for planning and development decisions by the JDF community Land Use Committee and in consultation with the community. The Marine Trail Holdings development application was submitted before subsequent bylaws could be put into place.

Following the development application denial, the CRD will also work to more clearly define development and protection goals under the Regional Sustainability Strategy (RSS), clarify roles and responsibilities for governments and adopt protocol that will ensure greater consistency in Board decisions.

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For further information please contact:
Andy Orr, Senior Manager CRD Corporate Communications
Office: 250.360.3229
Cell: 250.216.5492