Close to 14 acres of land adjacent to the French Creek Estuary has been designated as parkland and protected from future development. - Karly Blats photo

Close to 14 acres of estuary lands protected from development

The land, adjacent to French Creek Estuary, has been designated as parkland

Close to 14 acres of land adjacent to French Creek that was being looked at for development has been set aside for parkland.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on Dec. 11 by members of the Friends of French Creek Conservation Society (FFCCS), the French Creek Residents’ Association (FCRA) and with developer Quinn Griesdale of French Creek Estates and French Creek House Ltd, to designate close to 14 of the 23 acres owned by French Creek Estates as parkland.

This will see the estuary lands, low lands and a significant part of the upland treed areas protected for future generations.

Related: VIU researches importance of French Creek Estuary area

The 23 acres of land is bordered by French Creek on the east, Columbia Drive on the west, Highway 19A on the south and the subdivided properties occupied by homes facing onto Viking Way and Admiral Tryon Blvd. to the north.

“All the estuary is going to be protected,” said Pat Weber, director with the FCRA. “[The protected land] stretches all the way to Columbia Drive, along the edge of the highway and behind the houses on Viking Way.”

Weber said the FFCCS was developed 15 years ago with the intent to protect the French Creek estuary, and so the “huge donation” of land from Griesdale is a major success for the group.

“It’s just amazing that a developer would be willing to give up that much land and enter into an agreement with the community,” Weber said. “This sets the groundwork for future generations and the use of the area as an estuary park.”

Related: Conservation group works to protect estuary lands at French Creek

French Creek Estates has entered into an agreement with Elkay Developments for the development of a part of these lands for residential purposes and are in the process of identifying the lands which will be separated from these parcels for development.

Griesdale said, although no permits for development have been approved yet, his vision for the remaining acreage is to build a village centre, with condos, town houses and some commercial properties.

“Everything from coffee shops to amenities and groceries…it’s designed to give the community some diversity as well as create a place where people don’t necessarily have to drive very far to get things they need on a daily basis,” Griesdale said.

Related: French Creek development plans coming to regional district

Griesdale added that putting together the application for development “is taking quite a while.”

“I’ve been told that I need to keep patient because it’s pretty complex,” he said.

The MOU states that following receipt of the development permits by Elkay Developments and the completion of their contract for purchase and sale with French Creek Estates, transfer of the park lands will occur.

Ray Smith, president of the FFCCS, said the agreement is a “win-win” for everybody because it serves the community, FCRA and French Creek Estates.

Qualicum Beach resident Trevor Wicks, although agrees that the 14 acres being protected as parkland is a positive, believes there are some adverse implications for development happening on any of the 23 acres.

Wicks, who runs an independent water website (ouroceansidewater.com) and has more than 38 years experience working with water issues, said potential for flooding in French Creek and a “stink” that he claims comes from the French Creek Pollution Control Centre are reasons to avoid development on estuary lands. He believes these implications have the possibility to decrease property values.

Related: RDN teams up with VIU to deal with French Creek stench

“An estuary should be kept in a relatively pristine state,” Wicks said.

karly.blats@pqbnews.com

Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook

Just Posted

More Parksville pop-up water parks planned

Fire department says Sunday, Aug. 18 next one on the agenda

Hi Neighbour Day celebrates 50th year in Errington

Pancake breakfast, parade, zucchini race and more planned for this years’ festivities

Semi-truck crashes on Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Drivers heading in or out of Tofino-Ucluelet Friday afternoon should expect delays

Errington scrap wood fire still under investigation

Three fire departments deployed to battle highly visible blaze

Take a trip through time at Children’s Museum Day in Qualicum Beach

Free event teaches children about pioneer life, arts and crafts

Fashion Fridays: How to dress and feel powerful

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

‘Easy Rider’ star Peter Fonda dies at 79

Actor and writer was nominated for an Oscar for co-writing the 1969 psychedelic road trip movie

Excavators help cute kid who copied their dig with his toys stay “safe at work”

Carson Carnegie wakes up at 7:00 am every morning to watch construction work on his street

Bob Lenarduzzi out as Vancouver Whitecaps president

MLS team is at the bottom of the Western Conference standings

B.C. daycare operator denies negligence in death of ‘Baby Mac’

Infant died in early 2017 after biting an electrical cord, according to a lawsuit filed by his mom

BC SPCA reopens animal cruelty investigation at Abbotsford pig farm

Additional alleged footage released from Excelsior Hog Farm sparks new investigation

RCMP on Vancouver Island seek information on alleged ‘breaking out’ bandit

Man alleged to have hid in Nanaimo business washroom ceiling overnight, took monitors

Donor upset no one noticed B.C. school’s sculpture had been missing for a year

Agassiz’s Fraser River Lodge owner baffled how theft went undetected

Purple fentanyl among items seized in B.C. drug bust

Youth being recruited as drivers for more-established drug dealers, police say

Most Read