Deal for Gabriola property falls through

NANAIMO – Regional District of Nanaimo earmarked land for recreation and park use.

A land purchase deal between the Regional District of Nanaimo and Emcon Services has fallen through.

While the regional district board approved terms of a purchase for the 3.44 hectares of land, located near Gabriola Elementary School, in late-August, a motion was passed to withdraw from the contract at an in-camera meeting Tuesday night.

The three parcels of land were sought, as they were the only recreationally-zoned land in Gabriola’s downtown core, and according to the regional district, it was conducting a review on whether the lots were suitable for recreation and park usage.

Based on the review, the regional district decided not to proceed, although it is not providing reasons.

“I’m not in a position to speak to specifics, but I can say through the land review, it was determined there were some current limitations on the land for the RDN’s intended use,” said Tom Osborne, regional district general manager of recreation and parks.

Osborne said the board has provided no direction in terms of searching for other such properties for similar type use.

Howard Houle, Gabriola Island regional district director, was reached for comment, but did not respond by press time.

The News Bulletin was not able to reach anyone at Emcon Services for comment.

The subject of borrowing money for the land was anticipated to be part of a referendum in February.