Photo by Save Estuary Land Society
About the Land
The 23 acres bordering Hwy 19A and Columbia Drive was zoned prior to 1994 by the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) for multi-dwelling units.
A survey identifies many areas of the land as potentially unsuitable for development due to sensitive riparian, marsh, pond, wetlands and ephemeral channels.
As the land is flood plain, it would require vast truck loads of fill to raise the build level to meet code which is currently at 4.7 meters. This intensifies potential flooding risk to the estuary and neighbouring homes.
In March 2019 - 2.47 acres of land was purchased by Elkay Developments Ltd., of Surrey. Elkay submitted a development permit however the RDN required the developer to produce aquifer, ground, and rain water assessments for environmental and neighbouring property protections. Also required were further details re: form and character of proposed buildings and landscaping. The RDN has not received any of these requirements.
Construction of buildings could be permitted within ten meters of the pond, marsh, wetlands, forest and riparian areas. If you enjoy walking the lovely trails through the forest and to the pond, imagine looking at the back sides and fences of houses a mere 10 meters away.
Click images for larger display on map page
Courtesy of Elkay Developments Ltd.
Impacts of Development
If permitted this development may:
Irreversibly harm the Estuary. Estuaries are one of the most productive ecosystems on earth, providing food, breeding grounds and migration for countless species.
Increase degradation of French Creek, classified as a "sensitive stream."
Jeopardize threatened salmon, cutthroat trout and steelhead populations as a result of runoff, flooding, sedimentation and contamination from impervious surfaces.
Destroy the last Coastal Douglas fir forest between Parksville and Qualicum.
Eliminate critical habitat for plants and wildlife, some At Risk or Vulnerable.
Displace numerous wildlife from their homes, safe places and corridors.
Stress depleted ground water resources and opportunities for aquifer recharge.
Endanger surrounding homes and properties from risk of flooding due to the loss of mature, intact forest which absorbs rainfall and mitigates flooding.
Amplify existing traffic delays and safety hazards exiting Columbia Drive onto Highway 19A thereby increasing danger during evacuation situations.
Intensify foul odours from the Pollution Control Centre due to loss of trees.
Deny the community a natural green space to enjoy for generations to come.
Impact of Proposed Developments in Area
Image courtesy of Google Earth
Watch as Forest and Wildlife Habitat Disappears
This Google Earth timelapse from 1986 to 2016 shows the amount of forest lost from Parksville to Qualicum on the ocean side.