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RDN gives bylaw amendments 3rd reading for French Creek pollution centre project

Residents support turning property into a parkland
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The French Creek Pollution Control Centre will be expanded to accommodate growth in the service area. (RDN photo)

The Regional District of Nanaimo board has given three readings to two amendment bylaws that will allow the planned expansion of the French Creek Pollution Control Centre to advance.

The RDN Regional and Community Utilities and Solid Waste Committee submitted an application requesting an amendment to the Area G (French Creek, San Pareil, Little Qualicum, Englishman River) Official Community Plan land designation and also to rezone the properties.

Two lands are involved in the process.

The OCP request concerns a lot adjacent to the Island Highway West that has a dwelling unit. The proposal is to amend the OCP land designation on a portion of this parcel from neighbourhood residential to parkland area and the balance of the parcel to institutional. The proposal is also to change the zoning of the parcel from Residential 1 (RS1) to PU4.

READ MORE: More than $25 million committed to French Creek sewage centre expansion

The rezoning amendment is for the lot on the corner of Island Highway and Lee Road West. The request is to change the zoning from Public 1 (PU1) to Public 4 (PU4).

A public hearing was held earlier this year, with 38 members of the community attending. A majority supported the creation of a parkland. The main themes heard included:

• a desire for the existing dwelling unit to become a learning centre for the community;

• support for increased parkland dedication and recreational opportunities on the subject property;

• support for additional environmental protection;

• concern over the impact of the treatment plant on the aquifer;

• concern over flood hazards associated with French Creek; and,

• concern over odours emanating from the treatment plant.

The French Creek Pollution Control Centre treats water from approximately 29,000 people and businesses in Qualicum Beach, Parksville, French Creek, Pacific Shores, Surfside and Barclay Cresent. It also treats trucked waste from homes with septic and holding tanks. More than 90 per cent of the solids are removed from the wastewater before the treated effluence is dischared into the ocean.

Expanding the centre would meet the wastewater treatment needs of the growing population in District 69 as it would increase capacity, make it more efficient, upgrade odour control systems and contribute to carbon neutrality.

The cost of the project is approximately $90.6 million. The RDN has committed $25,496,859 to the project, which has received funding from both provincial and federal governments.



Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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