Lake Road as shown in an 1890 Wellington townsite plan in a City of Nanaimo staff report. (CITY OF NANAIMO image)

City sells pieces of property encroaching on Loudon Walkway

Road-closure bylaw passes three reading at Nanaimo city council meetings

The city is planning to sell bits and pieces of property along Loudon Walkway that it says were never really parkland.

A road-closure bylaw that would remedy long-standing private encroachments along the walkway passed three readings at city council meetings in October and November.

Loudon Walkway, which skirts Long Lake, was originally known as Lake Road, according to an 1890 Wellington townsite plan.

“The road was never actually built, so this informal trail appeared on there and the public have been using it ever since,” said Bill Corsan, the city’s deputy director of community development, at a council meeting Oct. 16.

Staff has reached out to the owners of the encroaching properties and the intention is to sell eight parcels along Victoria and Wellesley Avenues totalling 15,000 square feet to the homeowners for $326,000. The money would go into the city’s property acquisition reserve.

The road closure bylaw would allow Lake Road to be dedicated as park. A 1983 bylaw did just that, but according to city staff, it wasn’t done correctly.

“On a legal technicality, staff were recommending council ignore the bylaw and implicitly, the provincial laws relating to park,” said David Murchie, a resident of the neighbourhood, at a council meeting Nov. 6.

He contends that Loudon Walkway is a historical and dedicated park and he asked at a meeting Monday, Nov. 20 that council reconsider its third reading of the road closure bylaw.

“I believe that council did not have all the information required to determine if parkland sale is in the public’s interest…” Murchie said. “It’s been used as a park for almost 150 years. There’s no need to rush. It’s in everyone’s interest to have full disclosure, community input, time for staff to fully brief council and time to update the Loudon Walkway park plan.”

Dale Lindsay, the city’s director of community development, said the municipality is not in violation of a previous bylaw by selling the road encroachments.

“We’re being consistent with the legislative requirements that are set out when we dispose of surplus road,” he said at a council meeting Nov. 6.

Lindsay said it’s important to note that since the encroachment areas are already basically being used as private property, “for the most part, I would expect very little difference from what you see and experience there today to what you’ll see and experience there once this process is finalized.”

Coun. Ian Thorpe said the bylaw won’t impact public accessibility and will give the walkway the protection of a formal park dedication.

“As staff has pointed out, this is just cleaning up a bit of a historical mess and I don’t see us ever considering expropriation of the encroached pieces of property,” Thorpe said.

Coun. Jerry Hong said, “Let’s get this cleaned up and move forward.”

The road-closure bylaw passed third reading Nov. 6 with councillors Diane Brennan and Gord Fuller opposed.

The Wellington Action Committee has set up a Change.org petition on the matter and another petition can be found here.



editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Infringing festival finds a way to dance during pandemic

Crimson Coast Dance Society holding drive-in, micro and physically distanced events July 10-19

Nanaimo sees Island’s first nurse practitioner primary care clinic

Nexus Primary Care Clinic opened in late June in south end

Nanaimo RCMP ask for help finding missing 19-year-old

Haley Murphy has not been seen since Tuesday, June 30, say police

Learning outside the classroom suits VIU’s carpentry program just fine

Vancouver Island University has partnered with KSG Consulting Ltd. to provide hands-on learning

Nanaimo chef the Sensitive Vegan takes tongue-in-cheek approach to serious cooking

Jesse Rubboli creates cassava-based recipes and shares them via YouTube and on social media

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read