Nanaimo council delays decision on land for search and rescue relocation

NANAIMO – City will look at archeological and environmental significance of its Nanaimo Lakes Road property this fall.

A decision to potentially relocate Nanaimo Search and Rescue to civic land south of the city has been postponed, as staff members shake the dust off a report done more than a year ago.

Nanaimo Search and Rescue appealed to council earlier this year for land to build a permanent facility, and while a city report in early August offered two relocation options on the city-owned and former Greater Nanaimo Water District lands on Nanaimo Lakes Road, it also shows it might be premature to introduce a new land use without a council vision for the area.

The lands, near Colliery Dam Park, span 98 hectares, according to the City of Nanaimo. Four years ago, a previous council decided on a three-step process to review park and recreational opportunities for 62 hectares of the land, at 1150 and 1151 Nanaimo Lakes Rd., to make up the loss of community park area as a result of a new reservoir. The work included an environmental and archaeological assessment, public and stakeholder consultation and a plan.

The process, however, hasn’t left the assessment stage and those results haven’t yet gone to council. That’s expected to change this fall.

Tracy Samra, chief administrative officer, asked council at its Aug. 8 meeting to defer a decision on search and rescue for an opportunity to dust off a report from Richard Harding, director of parks, recreation and environment, allow collaboration with the city real estate manager and bring it in front of council.

“It’s huge parcels of fee simple land that you own and there’s a lot of different things that you can do with it,” said Samra. “At least get that [report] in front of you so you have a larger context so you can make a more informed decision about their request to move there.”

Councillors agreed to table the city report after several politicians considered it a quantum leap to grant approval in principle for search and rescue to share water district offices with city parks staff – one of the proposed options.

Harding said with no claims on the property, there was no rush to bring the assessments to council.

Staff were also focused on other issues, such as Colliery Dam Park, changing staff and council priorities.

An updated public process on the water district lands will be proposed to council.

Harding said the report, coming this fall, will help council see parts of the property that have recreational, environmental and archaeological significance.

Just Posted

Nanaimo RCMP are asking for help locating a 43-year-old man whose family is ‘extremely worried.’ (Submitted photo)
Nanaimo RCMP ask for help locating man, family worried

Jeremy Buerge, 43, made comments that were concerning to family members

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

An event on the lawn of the B.C. legislature in Victoria on Tuesday to remember the 215 children whose remains were confirmed buried in unmarked graves outside a Kamloops residential school. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Canada’s racist systems cannot ever be forgiven

Teen letter writer from Nunavut calls for truth and reconciliation

Nanaimo is the first city in Canada to subscribe to the Chonolog environment photo-monitoring system, which allow residents to contribute photos of habitat restoration projects that are converted to time lapse sequences showing environmental changes. (Chris Bush/ News Bulletin)
Nanaimo residents invited to be citizen scientists by sharing habitat restoration photos

Nanaimo first city in Canada to sign up for Chronolog environment photo monitoring service

Regional District of Nanaimo is seeking input from the public for its transit redevelopment strategy. (News Bulletin file)
Public input sought as RDN works on transit redevelopment strategy

RDN wants to know where people want bus stops, shelters and pedestrian and cycling connections

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

City of Nanaimo council has approved amendments for an animal control bylaw requested by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. The bylaw includes language related to quail. (Wikipedia Commons photo)
Province asks for tweaks to Nanaimo’s animal responsibility bylaw

Ministry concerned bylaw wording could create municipal and provincial jurisdictional overlaps

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo hospital district seeks help from other districts for $1-billion project

Funding for Nanaimo Regional General Hospital patient tower discussed by committee

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read