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Deep Bay development update

Regional District of Nanaimo director Bill Veenhof keeping cards close to chest

Does Bill Veenhof think it's a good idea to virtually double the population in the Deep Bay area?

The Area H director with the Regional District of Nanaimo isn't saying.

In an interview, Veenhof stressed he must remain neutral on the issue of a controversial development and therefore declined to give his opinion on the proposed Deep Bay strata development by Baynes Sound Investments, which would see 386 residential units and an RV resort with 292 units, along with park space, trails and a community building.

"I'm trying to stay absolutely neutral on this one," Veenhof said Thursday. "There are people for and against. We are having the conversation about where it goes and doubling the population is something for the local residents to decide, not me."

At a RDN meeting in April, several people spoke against the proposed development, while only developer Jim Crawford spoke in favour. However, Veenhof stressed he has had communication with several other people in the Deep Bay community who are also in favour of the plan.

"There is certainly a group of people quite in favour of it," he said.

The RDN board is currently reviewing a proposed public consultation plan on the proposal and Veenhof expects it to be presented some time in mid-June.

"That will lay out the public consultation," he said. "That will have a survey of the residents and that survey will determine whether or not we actually go the distance of looking at the official community plan and the regional growth strategy."

For the development to go ahead, both the OCP and RGS would have to be amended.

Veenhof has stated he will cast his vote in accordance with the majority will expressed in the survey.

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