Parksville council voted to have staff prepare a bylaw and begin the process to close part of an unused lane for consideration of future parkland next to the Englishman River.
The city received an application from Timberlake-Jones Engineering on behalf of Briterra Properties Ltd., requesting the section of lane be permanently closed, its dedication removed and the land made available for incorporation into the adjacent property at 703 Turner Rd.
Council may, at a future meeting, consider the acquisition of some of the land in the subdivision process.
When subdivision of land is proposed to create three or more additional lots, Section 510 of the Local Government Act requires a park contribution be made to a maximum of five per cent of the land under application. However, because Parksville’s Official Community Plan (OCP) contains policies respecting the location and type of future parks, council can determine the acceptability of the proposed park or payment contribution.
“In this case with the closure of the lane it’s coming close to 30 per cent land,” said Blaine Russell, director of community planning and building, during a report to council’s June 6 regular meeting. “Essentially 25 per cent in exchange for that closed lane. But in order for us to close the lane we have to do notice, we also have to inform utilities that may or may not be impacted.”
Russell’s report said the city does not believe there are any third-party utilities located within the lane section, but out of an abundance of caution, referrals will be made to utilities that operate within Parksville.
Based on the current assessed value of the adjacent property, property with land that most closely resembles the lane, the value of 571.9 square metres of lane closure land is approximately $101,939.45, according to the report.
The proposed subdivision is intended to create 13 bare land strata lots from the combined subject property and closed lane.
The property owner has proposed to dedicate 4,768 square metres as parkland, which constitutes a 19.97 per cent park dedication from the combined land, the equivalent of 20.46 per cent of the subject property on its own.
Based on the current assessed value of the subject property, the value of 4,768 square metres of proposed park land is approximately $298,153.47, according to Russell’s report.
City policies generally discourage small park dedications, with preference given for payment for future larger park acquisitions. Policies do support the general dedication of land for park where it will provide an opportunity to enhance multi-modal connections or where there are features of ecological significance.
Parksville’s OCP includes a waterfront walkway or multi-use trail within the proposed park dedication, along the Englishman River.