EDITORIAL: Parksville has land to discuss

Perhaps focus should be shifted to what can be done with land the city already owns, as opposed to purchasing more

Call it the bird-in-the-hand theory.

There has been talk in Parksville recently about the use of municipal dollars to acquire waterfront land.

Perhaps a more appropriate discussion as we head into the election campaign is what Parksville should be doing with the land it already owns.

Outgoing Mayor Chris Burger took us on a rainy walk this week to view part of a 13-acre parcel, purchased by the city for $750,000 in 2013, that abuts the Englishman River estuary. It’s a gorgeous, ecologically significant piece of land.

It also has a residence with a renter (Burger assured us the city has a deal on paper with the tenant).

As we understand it, the land was purchased by the city as part of its plan to develop a multi-purpose trail that could eventually link Parksville Community Park with Rathtrevor Provincial Park.

While Burger suggests this could come to pass within the next four years, we think that’s a little ambitious.

Consider that the city, the Regional District of Nanaimo, the federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans and at least a couple provincial government ministries would have be involved, along with First Nations and other significant stewards of the estuary. That doesn’t make us confident residents and tourists will be able to walk or ride their bikes and scooters from Parksville Beach to Rathtrevor any time before 2020.

Still, it was a significant purchase for the city and could be the focus of discussions this fall.

Another parcel of land purchased by the city in recent years does not require the same kind of environmental attention. The city owns the vacant property at one of the highest-profile places in the city, across the Alberni Highway from the fire hall.

Here’s a piece of dirt with enormous potential. Its future use could also spur excellent debate during the election campaign this fall. Should the entire location be turned into a park? Should there be mixed use, allowing for some commercial enterprises? Should it be sold to the highest bidder, perhaps with covenants on what kind of businesses would be allowed?

We believe a mix of uses on that land could help rejuvenate the downtown core.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

$3.5M all-season turf field planned for Qualicum Beach

Town seeks grant for community playing surface upgrades

Car theft suspect arrested in Coombs

Vehicle and two motorcyles recovered on Jan. 16

Qualicum Beach council big on support for multi-use cinema proposal

Society asks for 10,000 square feet, gets recommendation to consider with strategic plan

Lincoln stolen from Parksville dealership found near Duncan

Vehicle was located three days later with minor damage

Ballenas student experiment going into space

Science experiment designed by five SD69 students will travel to International Space Station

B.C. opioid crisis to get same world-renowned treatment approach as HIV/AIDS

A program that focuses on treatment as prevention will roll out Jan. 17

In limbo: Leftover embryos challenge clinics, couples

Some are outright abandoned by people who quit paying storage fees and other couples struggle with tough decisions

BREAKING: Jury finds man accused of killing B.C. girl, 12, guilty

Twelve-year-old Monica Jack disappeared in May 1978 while riding her bike along a highway in Merritt, B.C.

B.C. government extends coastal log export rules for six months

Premier John Horgan talks forest policy at loggers’ convention

B.C. pair accused of ‘honour-killing’ in India to be extradited within days

Malkit Kaur Sidhu and Surjit Singh Badesha are accused of conspiracy to commit murder

Netflix rejects request to remove Lac-Megantic images from ‘Bird Box’

At least two shows on Netflix’s Canadian platform briefly use actual footage of the 2013 tragedy

FOCUS: Canada’s revamped impaired driving law brews ‘potential for injustice’

There must be ‘trigger’ for cops to come knocking, Surrey MP says

Barack Obama to speak at Vancouver event

Former U.S. president will speak with board of trade in March

Former welfare clients still owed money, B.C. Ombudsperson says

Investigation found 2,600 people docked illegally for earning income

Most Read