Sarah Bonar

Sarah Bonar

City of Nanaimo gathers feedback on what to do with former water district land

NANAIMO – Land on Nanaimo Lakes Road outside urban containment boundary and houses some city parks staff.

The City of Nanaimo is seeking public input on what to do with Greater Nanaimo Water District lands along Nanaimo Lakes Road.

The water district folded in 2004, at which time the lands became city property. In 2010, city council greenlit a 14-million-litre reservoir and the lands were no longer needed for storing water, according to the city.

Rob Lawrance, city parks and open space planner, said the lands are primarily second-growth forest. There are old water district buildings that are currently being used by parks operation staff, he said.

“Right now the zoning for the property is considered rural resource, so these are available for large acre lots with their own septic system. Because we are beyond the urban containment boundary in the city, there is no city servicing beyond that, so there’s no water, there’s no sewer line.

“The [district buildings] are zoned community service and that’s primarily for the functions that they are, for the water district and for parks use, but potentially other uses that fall within that zone for community service,” said Lawrance.

There are environmental considerations, particularly to the south of the parks buildings, said Chris Zamora, owner of Aquaparian Environmental Consulting, which gave a biophysical overview of the lands for the city in 2014.

Zamora said the unique features include three sandstone and limestone ridge lines, with linear wetlands in between them.

“These areas seem to capture natural groundwater and surface water sources … on the tops of these ridge lines you’re getting 70-80-year-old stands of Douglas fire trees with mixed old-growth forest remnants,” said Zamora. “You’re also getting open mossy meadows, which is pretty neat.”

Lawrance said there are blue-listed and rare species, such as great blue heron and northern pygmy owls.

There is a future land use map on the official community plan that does recognize a portion of the lands north of the Nanaimo Parkway going into the park system. However, anything south of that has not been recognized, Lawrance said.

“That’s kind of what this process is about, is to have a conversation about what are some options and what should we like to see here in the future,” said Lawrance.

The city held an open house Saturday and is expected to hold another in January.

For more information, please go to Public Engagement, under the City Hall tab at www.nanaimo.ca.

Just Posted

Nanaimo author B.S. Thompson has released his debut novel, ‘The Book of Nodd.’ (Photo courtesy Nora Funk)
Nanaimo author invites readers into dangerous world of dreams in debut novel

B.S. Thompson unveils ‘The Book of Nodd’ with online launch June 20

Potters Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter present their joint exhibit ‘Dig It’ at Art 10 Gallery until the end of June. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Potters show pieces for home and garden at Nanaimo’s Art 10 Gallery

Virginia Dunseith and Ruth Porter’s show ‘Dig It’ on display until end of June

Construction work continues on the City of Nanaimo’s new Fire Station No. 1 on Fitzwilliam Street. (News Bulletin file)
Next phase of borrowing approved as Nanaimo fire hall construction ongoing

City of Nanaimo CAO says construction on Fitzwilliam Street hall on schedule and budget

Nanaimo Fire Rescue firefighters at the scene of a single-vehicle crash on Tenth Street near Southside Drive on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Driver OK after crashing vehicle off the side of Nanaimo’s Tenth Street

Crews say wet roads a factor a crash Sunday, June 13

Emergency crews on scene of a two-car crash at the intersection of Cranberry Avenue and the Trans-Canada Highway on Sunday, June 13. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Crash blocks Cranberry intersection in Nanaimo, no one injured

Incident blocks both southbound lanes of Trans-Canada Highway

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

Most Read