Updates from Wild Coast
Feb. 15 – An overflow crowd jammed the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee meeting Tuesday to critique a sprawling resort proposal along the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail.
West Vancouver developer Ender Ilkay, owner of the Marine Trail Holdings set of companies, presented his latest plan for 263 vacation homes, 5 caretaker residences, a lodge and two recreation centers along a 16-km stretch of the popular coast wilderness trail. He proposes a 100-meter buffer zone between the trail and the resort’s vacation homes, lodges, roads, and septic fields.
Fifty people spoke in opposition to the rezoning bylaw, with dozens specifically urging the committee to reject the mammoth proposal over concerns about park protection, safety, indigenous rights, sprawl, regional growth and sustainability, and due process. Only half a dozen expressed support.
However, Capital Regional Disrict (CRD) planning staff June Klassen and Bob Lapham recommended Ilkay’s plan, and at the end of the marathon three-hour meeting, the committee voted 5-2 to move it forward to the next level.
Staff have already scheduled a public information session on the proposal for March 3 at Edward Milne School in Sooke.
From here, Ilkay’s resort plan will be referred to government agencies, emergency services, and community groups for their comments. Then it goes to the CRD Board.
Under current rules, the final decision-making body, the CRD’s Land Use Committee A, could give first and second reading to the rezoning bylaw as early as March 9, with final approval on April 13. The committee consists of Langford mayor Stew Young, Sooke mayor Janet Evans, John Ranns, mayor of Metchosin, Dave Saunders, mayor of Colwood, and Juan de Fuca director Mike Hicks, who is also chair of the Juan de Fuca Land Use Committee.
At Tuesday’s meeting in Sooke, elders from the Pacheedaht First Nation requested a moratorium on development until land claims are settled, drawing loud applause. Others referenced the impact on other struggling tourism businesses, increased wildfire risk, and potential damage to Juan de Fuca Marine Trail Park, the Class A provincial park that adjoins the Ilkay property,
Local environmental groups predict a storm of public response to the vote. The groups are demanding a moratorium on new development in the CRD and a new land-use vision on the south Island.
View staff report and maps of the development online (scroll down for Marine Trail Holdings reports)
Contact Zoe Blunt (Forest Action Network) 250-813-3569