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Parksville land swap will require referendum

A referendum is needed in order to swap the Parksville Visitors’ Centre for the Craig Heritage Park, although the move is essentially a housekeeping item. - Neil Horner
A referendum is needed in order to swap the Parksville Visitors’ Centre for the Craig Heritage Park, although the move is essentially a housekeeping item.
— image credit: Neil Horner

It’s basically a housekeeping item, but a public referendum is required to change the zoning of land at the eastern entry to the city.

When residents vote in the municipal election Nov. 19 they will be asked to approve essentially switching the parkland designation from the Parksville and District Visitor Centre to the Craig Heritage Park Museum and Archives next door.

Due to an error when land was received as part of the subdivision for the Craig Bay development, the visitor’s centre lot is currently zoned park, which doesn’t allow for the current use, while the heritage park next door is actually a fee simple lot.

The parkland under the visitor’s centre will technically be “disposed of,” as required by provincial law for changing zoning on a park, and re-zoned as “closed park,” while the slightly larger Heritage Park property next door will officially become a park along with the legal protection that will ensure for the museum, which is an approved use of parkland.

Acting mayor Chris Burger pointed out that while the legal wording about disposing of a park may startle some people, the city will actually be slightly increasing it’s parkland.

Including the referendum question in the municipal election means it will not cost the taxpayers any additional money and the chamber and museum both support the switch.

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