Re: the Ermineskin land question and a recent letter to the editor on the subject by Caroline Waters (‘A gift horse’).
If something looks too good to be true, then it probably is.
An example is the “gift horse” that was offered to Parksville residents by the Ermineskin band from Alberta. Waters would have liked residents to agree to the removal of the land from the ALR, even though this action would have over-ridden public needs.
The city’s engineering department recommended against talking this land out of the ALR, stating that ALR lands provide a better buffer for city wells located in the area. A secure water supply and the ability to produce food locally is crucial to a community’s long-term-sustainability.
Council recently voted to set residential property taxes at 2.4 per cent instead of three per cent. It has been reported that no financial concerns were contained in the 2012 municipal report which would imply that the city is not desperate for more development of this area surrounding Parksville’s only wetlands.
There are plenty of other areas that have already been cleared for building and would be attractive to young families. This parcel, however, was definitely not one that should have been considered. Council acted wisely and in the best interest of our residents with their rejection of this application.