City of Nanaimo won’t step in to save land

NANAIMO – Mayor John Ruttan made a formal statement this week that the municipality would not purchase Linley Valley West for parkland.

  • Oct. 10, 2013 8:00 a.m.

Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan says the city will not step in and save Linley Valley West from development, despite recent protests.

Ruttan made a statement during a recent council meeting that the city has no plans to purchase Linley Valley West  for parkland. The private land is correctly designated for development and the city doesn’t have the capacity to acquire property of its size, he said.

“I am trying to say that if there is some kind of … hope out there that the city at the 11th hour will find the opportunity to purchase the property, we can’t and we won’t be,” Ruttan said, adding he hopes civil disobedience and vandalism come to an end.

Advocates for Linley Valley West have been fighting to preserve 100 hectares of land as wildlife habitat for close to two years and recently began to stage protests at the construction site of a 353 residence subdivision.

The mayor said property developers have approached city council members and the RCMP and claimed there has been property and equipment damage, prompting his statement. He finds the issue “a bit of a concern,” adding that any increased police presence at the site is not the best use of the resource and will cost taxpayers.