Sino Bright School will have to look outside of the protected agricultural land if it wants to build a school in Powell River, according to a BC Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) ruling.
The ALC’s Vancouver Island Regional Panel released its decision on the Sino Bright 30-acre (12-hectare) exclusion application Monday, November 14.
“The panel does not find the proposal to exclude 12 hectares for institutional use as a compelling rationale to supersede the mandate of the ALC to preserve agricultural land,” the decision stated. “The panel finds that the proposal would be more appropriate on lands outside the ALR.”
The Canadian-Chinese international school currently operates from the Oceanview Education Centre, but had hoped to purchase land between Millennium Park and Brooks Secondary School to construct a campus to accommodate 400 students.
Much of the parcel is protected agricultural land reserve, so the school’s purchase of the land from PRSC Land Developments, a partnership between City of Powell River and Tla’amin Nation, was subject to the ALC approving the exclusion.
PRSC co-manager Scott Randolph said the decision is an obvious disappointment.
“We are currently looking at what our options are; whether that be appeal or other avenues,” said Randolph.
PRSC will have a clearer idea of what the next steps are in a few days, he added.
“We’re treating this as it not being done yet,” said Randolph, “but we’re definitely disappointed with the results.”