Island Timberlands applies to build resort community, marina

Island Timberlands has applied to the City of Nanaimo to include a 24-hectare piece of land within the Urban Containment Boundary and redesignate that land from resource protection zoning to resort land to build a waterfront resort and residential community.

A new major residential, resort and marina development is proposed in Cedar.

Island Timberlands has applied to the City of Nanaimo to include a 24-hectare piece of land within the urban containment boundary and redesignate that land from resource protection zoning to resort land to build a waterfront resort and residential community.

An application filed last November by Omicron Architecture Engineering Construction on behalf of Island Timberlands indicates the company wants to use the property, and surrounding land, to build a maximum of 2,400 residential units, a 40-suite boutique hotel and 45,000 square feet of commercial shops and services. The resort would be anchored by a 200-slip marina.

“It’s really in the conceptual stage right now, it’s not even the master plan yet,” said Bruce Anderson, manager of Nanaimo’s community planning department. “The community plan only allows changes to the urban containment boundary every three years so they were not able to make an application in 2006. November 2010 was the earliest opportunity after that to apply and that is what they’ve done.”

The adjacent 170-hectare proposed Oceanview Golf Resort, which remains idle in its development but is scheduled to move ahead in the future, is within the urban containment boundary and is designated resort land.

Island Timberlands’s 23-hectare site to the west of the subject property is also within the boundary and is also designated resort centre. It wants to include the latest 24-hectares so it can plan a comprehensive 217-hectare resort community.

It says the land is a “pivotal piece” in creating a complete resort community as it provides access to two kilometres of shoreline and is “the safest and most practical location for the marina that will be the foundation of the waterfront use.”

Oceanview’s proposal, which has been approved, includes more than 2,500 residential units, a hotel, spa and championship 18-hole golf course.

“The city would like the ensure that there’s integration between the two communities notwithstanding the two owners,” said Anderson. “Even though they are two separate neighbourhoods, from a planning perspective we want them to be connected and integrated.”

Anderson said Plan Nanaimo Advisory Committee has heard Island Timberlands’s proposal, but it is not known when the application might go before city council, though it could be as early as August.

The application considers the proposed land use, environmental impact assessment, archeological impacts and water supply impact.

Island Timberlands and its predecessor companies have owned the property for more than 50 years. The prime use of the land was for harvesting timber as recently as 2006 and it is currently zoned Rural Agriculture.