RDN electoral Area H has been reviewing its official community plan (OCP) for the past three months. The recent meeting saw a doubling of people participating, notably with the presence of large property land owners and developers.
Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) staff provided the statistics indicating sufficiency of fill-in lots already available to meet the projected growth demands well into the future. The size, form and character of the rural coastal areas are single family homes with lot sizes from .5 acre to five acres that accommodate private tertiary sewage systems and are usually in public water and fire service areas.
One of the major issues discussed is whether public sewage is necessary to accommodate high density growth in Bowser Village. A $300,000 study that reportedly only includes Bowser, is in progress but won’t be completed until 2017, after the draft of the OCP.
Discussions indicate Bowser Village residents simply cannot afford a public sewage system with its small population. The issue has been contemplated but cannot be decided upon due to lack of costing information from this study.
The developers from Surrey, BSI, are apparently communicating with other large landowners and the RDN. BSI reps said they are contemplating a sewage pipe along the railway tracks to a central site between Gainsburg and Jamieson for a land-based sewage system in the heart of Deep Bay adjacent to Deep Bay water wells.
Bowser could likewise send sewage to the same property for processing. I am told the ALR landowner, if amendable to this suggestion, is still planning on an industrial marijuana operation pending decisions at the federal government level.
In addition, he may grow hops on the property. Lots of water required for both crops in addition to sewage processing requirements. This has not yet been discussed during the OCP proceedings.
Who will be making the final decision on public sewage? After completion of the OCP, the RDN board will be able to make this decision without community consultation under the newly defined minor amendment process to the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) because residents have contemplated the issue during the OCP review.
Dianne EddyDeep Bay