Director aims to remove Gabriola from district’s growth strategy

NANAIMO – Howard Houle's notice of motion goes to regional board next month

The Regional District of Nanaimo director representing Gabriola, DeCourcy and Mudge Islands wants out of the district’s regional growth strategy.

The regional growth strategy defines the Regional District of Nanaimo vision for sustainable growth and deals with land use.

At a district board meeting last month, Area B director Howard Houle made a notice of motion directing staff to prepare a report examining the removal of his area from the regional growth management service.

“The reason I’m wanting to remove us from that growth strategy is that is about land-use planning and the Island Trust does land-use planning for Gabriola,” Houle said. “We’re in a service where we’re paying into it and not receiving any benefit from it.”

It varies from year to year, but the tax requisition for 2013 is $13,795 and while there would be a tax break it wouldn’t be noticeable.

“Everybody would like to save a few dollars on taxes but of course, there’ll be a slight increase in taxes so you probably won’t notice it at all in your tax bill,” the Area B director said, adding it is not yet known how much of an increase would occur because the issue is being examined during the current budget season.

Houle said regional district staff will come back with a report and it will go before the board again, at which time directors will vote on it.

“I do expect this to come up before the end of the year,” he said.