San Pareil residents approve expensive water upgrades

Controversial measure will see quality of water improved in subdivision

Residents who live in San Pareil have agreed to costly water system improvements.

The petition from the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) asking residents to favour a 1.4 million dollar plan that would see modifications to the water system to improve fire flow in the area has passed.

Homeowners in the subdivision had until November 4 to submit their petitions to the RDN and just days before the deadline it didn’t look as though the petition would get enough support to pass.

Mike Donnelly, Manager of Community Water for the RDN said if less than 50 percent of the parcels liable to be charged for the water upgrades had not signed on, the project would have stalled resulting in increased costs for a new system down the road.

He said he was pleased the petition made it past the 50 percent mark and it has officially passed but he admitted it wasn’t without controversy.

The neighborhood appeared split on the issue and some residents even accused the RDN of trying to ram the petition process down their throats.

The Shorewood San Pareil Owners and Residents Association (SSPORA) had come out in favour of the upgrades but not all members were on board and the issue resulted in some heated exchanges between residents in the neighborhood.

As it currently stands, the water system infrastructure is old and if a serious fire were to occur in the area there is the potential that there wouldn’t be adequate water flow to put it out.

There was also concern that without proper fire protection residents could face an increase in their fire insurance premiums.

While some residents of the San Pareil subdivision are concerned they may not have enough water pressure in their hydrants to protect them from a fire, others believe the situation is not as bad as officials are making it out to be.

There is no grant money available at this time to help pay for the upgrades, so residents will be paying for the water upgrade bill in their property taxes.

In a November newsletter of the Shorewood/San Pareil Owners and Residents Association there was one last call urging residents to look at all the facts clearly outlined by RDN engineers about the state of existing water system in the area and to sign on the dotted line so the upgrades can proceed.

Warren Banks, a retired fire chief living in the area, said should a fire occur on the north side of Shorewood Drive involving a home it is reasonable to say there is little to no hope of saving it or preventing damage to surrounding properties.

He agreed the south side of Shorewood Drive that has fire hydrants may have a better supply of water but that remains to be seen.

“Considering the time delays in reloading the tanker trucks and the progress of the fire you are in big trouble,” he stated.

He said he is relieved the petition passed because now they have the opportunity to bring in a water system that will properly serve the community.

He admitted it is frustrating for residents who don’t want to see their taxes go up by about $400 per year but when one considers the option of increased taxes compared to an annual increase in fire insurance rates the amounts are likely similar and it is better to be safe than sorry.




Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The property at 113 and 161 Island Highway is currently being dismantled as the developer attempts to salvage ‘usable’ lumber for their development application to the City of Parksville. (Mandy Moraes photo)
Development application delayed for high-profile Parksville property

Council refers application to staff for further improvements

(File photo)
RCMP warn of counterfeit bill use in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Police have received four calls in November regarding bogus bills

The COVID-19 pandemic had an effect on film production on central and north Vancouver Island, says Vancouver Island North Film Commission. Pictured here, production of TV series Resident Alien in Ladysmith earlier this year. (Black Press file)
Film commissioner says COVID-19 cost central Island $6 million in economic activity

Jurassic World: Dominion, Chesapeake Shores among productions halted due to pandemic, says INFilm

Dr. Sandra Allison is Island Health’s medical health officer for the central Island. (Photo submitted)
OPINION: Don’t let fear take over during the pandemic

Central Island medical health officer shares her reflections riding the bus

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks along the seawall in North Vancouver Wednesday, November 25, 2020.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
911 new COVID-19 cases, 11 deaths as B.C. sees deadliest week since pandemic began

Hospitalizations reach more than 300 across the province

The Ahousaht First Nation confirmed its first case of COVID-19 on Nov. 26, 2020. (Westerly file photo)
Ahousaht First Nation on lockdown over COVID-19

“Emotions are high. The anxiety is high. We want our community to pull through.”

Screenshot of Pastor James Butler giving a sermon at Free Grace Baptist Church in Chilliwack on Nov. 22, 2020. The church has decided to continue in-person services despite a public health order banning worship services that was issued on Nov. 19, 2020. (YouTube)
Two Fraser Valley churches continue in-person services despite public health orders

Pastors say faith groups are unfairly targeted and that charter rights protect their decisions

Penny Hart is emotional outside the Saanich Police Department as she pleads for helpt to find her son Sean Hart last seen Nov. 6 at a health institution in Saanich. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: Mother of missing Saanich man begs public to help find her son

Sean Hart last seen leaving Saanich mental health facility Nov. 6

A big job: Former forests minister Doug Donaldson stands before a 500-year-old Douglas fir in Saanich to announce preservation of some of B.C.’s oldest trees, July 2019. (B.C. government)
B.C. returning to ‘stand-alone’ forests, rural development ministry

Horgan says Gordon Campbell’s super-ministry doesn’t work

Freighter anchored off Kin Beach in Chemainus. (Photo by Don Bodger)
MP to host expert panel for virtual town hall on freighter anchorages issue

Residents can participate through MacGregor’s website or Facebook page Dec. 3

Lake Cowichan’s Oliver Finlayson, second from left, and his family — including grandma Marnie Mattice, sister Avery, mom Amie Mattice and dad Blair Finlayson — were all smiles on Nov. 16 when their pool arrived, thanks to lots of fundraising and the generosity of the Cowichan Lake community. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan Lake community comes together to help family get vital pool

Oliver Finlayson, 9, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy and hydrotherapy is a big help

Most Read