Bowser growth and planning issues

The RDN board has seen fit to spend $300,000 on a sewage treatment study for Bowser. This is the second study in recent years.

The Regional District of Nanaimo board has seen fit to spend $300,000 on a sewage treatment study for Bowser. This is the second study in recent years.

The absurdity of this study becomes apparent when only 68 homes will be on the hook for a system estimated to cost $10,000,000 with annual operations and maintenance costs of around $170,000/year and to be managed by the RDN.

Enter a developer that wants to build approximately 748 units outside the Growth Containment Boundaries (GCB). The RDN Regional Growth Strategy precludes the use of a new sewer service outside Village Centres. The RDN’s recent Participants Guide for the “Deep Bay Workshop” states that the OCP policy could be proposed to change the RGS to allow small scale shared wastewater disposal systems. This is back to the old system of poorly-controlled shared septic fields often used within bare land strata developments that are notably problematic within the RDN. Why revert to the old RGS standards?

Any large development should be required to pay for a full public sewer service and water service for their development to RDN standards and turned over to the RDN for management on completion such as has been the requirement for Fairwinds, Lake District and Schooner Cove in Area E.  Those developers were required to develop new water supplies as well as a new sewage service to RDN standards to be owned and operated by the RDN.

To suggest that Area H revert to the old RGS standards would be regressive and poor management on the part of the RDN. It is also an insult to the 1,200 residents in Deep Bay. Reverting to the old standards would encourage more developers to develop well outside GCB on cheap lands and provide nothing to the local community. This is not planning.  Rather it is an ad hoc sprawl controlled by developers and encouraged by the RDN.

Dianne EddyBowser