City of Powell River Council has accepted a recommendation that a bylaw to close and remove road dedication over an undeveloped portion of King Avenue proceed no further.
At the city council meeting on Thursday, February 20, councillors reviewed a report from staff recommending the initiative be dropped.
According to a staff report, on November 5, 2019, staff presented a report to the committee of the whole meeting triggered by a request made by a landowner adjacent to an undeveloped section of King Avenue in Wildwood.
The landowner, Blueberry Commons Farm Cooperative (BCFC), made a formal request to purchase from the city a portion of the undeveloped King Avenue road dedication for the purpose of amalgamating it with their property. The request was linked to the purchase of both adjacent parcels, which they intend to redevelop into a farm and housing cooperative with agriculture as the central focus, according to the report.
However, prior to the bylaw being considered for final adoption, the city received several written submissions in relation to the proposed bylaw, the report stated. One was in favour and three were not. Of those opposed, one was from Tla’amin Nation, which owns land kitty-corner to the portion of road proposed to be closed. The report stated Tla’amin opposes the closure and sale because it is believed access to their lands will be impacted if the bylaw is adopted.
Upon learning that Tla’amin opposes the closure and sale of this portion of King Avenue, BCFC provided city staff with written confirmation that it no longer wishes to pursue this proposal, the report stated.
Councillor George Doubt said it was worthwhile to recognize that the request was proceeding until there was a letter from Tla’amin Nation that expressed concerns over access to Tla’amin property.
“The owners of the property on King Avenue looked at that and decided to withdraw their application,” said Doubt. “It’s a good example of communication working. I think it’s appropriate.”
Mayor Dave Formosa said there was also a letter from the owner of a large block of land that backs up to the property in question that was not in favour of proposed property sale. He said the two parties met over the issue.
“I guess, based on those two, [BCFC] decided they would cooperate with their neighbours,” said Formosa. “It’s nice to see cooperation.”