Referendum on city ballot

Proposed parkland switch in Parksville requires public input

The City of Parksville is encouraging people to vote yes in a referendum question on re-zoning land at the western entry to the city.

When Parksville residents vote in the municipal election tomorrow (Nov. 19) they will also be asked to approve switching the legal zoning of parkland around the Parksville and District Visitor Centre and Craig Heritage Park Museum and Archives next door.

Because the change, essentially a housekeeping item, involves public parkland, a public referendum is legally required.

“Rather than moving the buildings, we’re moving the designation of the land underneath,” explained chief administrative officer Fred Manson.

There is some worry that because the question includes the word “disposal” people will vote against it, when it is not getting rid of any park space, and in fact increasing it slightly.

“Basically if we can’t get it done, it would preclude renewing the chamber lease,” Manson said.

Due to an error when land was received as part of the subdivision for the Craig Bay development, the visitors centre lot is currently zoned park, which doesn’t allow for the current use, while the heritage park next door is actually a fee simple lot.

The parkland under the visitors centre will be “disposed of” and re-zoned “closed park,” while the slightly larger Heritage Park property next door will become a legal park.

Because the referendum is included in the municipal election, neither it or the title switch will cost the residents anything. The chamber and museum are both encouraging people to vote yes.

 

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