Bank work to reduce land slippage

Parksville council issued a development permit at their latest meeting for work on the waterfront bank behind the residential lot at 790 Gaetjen St.

Property owners Rob McGorman and Nicole Proch requested the permit to allow widening and improving a beach access path to enable them to decommission an old well and re-grade the upper scarp, or crest, of the steep bank.

While the permit allows them to remove three trees, the report to council from staff says all the work will be done from the land side and “disturbance to the natural environment will generally be kept to a minimum.”

The property is within Development Permit Area No. 7 (Waterfront - West, Parksville Bluffs) which is designated under the category of protecting development from hazardous conditions.

The geotechnical report by Ground Control Geotechnical Engineering says, “the widening of the path is desired so that construction equipment can access the toe of the slope to carry out some required and desired works. Of chief importance, a large water-filled well has been discovered ... which represents a serious and potentially deadly risk of entrapment...”

It says the re-grading will move the top of the slope “much further back” into the property, away from the ocean.

“This re-grading is expected to be beneficial and should reduce the likelihood of land slippage by reducing the steepness of the upper scarp.”

In February, council allowed the owners to divide the lot in two with a relaxation of the required setback from Fairwind Avenue, after some debate about the request coming without any idea what the owners plan to do with it in the future.

Director of community planning Blaine Russell explained at the time that while that is a less common route, it is a normal way to subdivide properties.


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