Lantzville’s mega housing project is up for public debate.
District officials are putting the 730-hectare Lantzville Foothills Estates development to a town hall meeting in April, allowing residents to get information, air concerns and weigh in on a new memorandum of understanding.
Developers Lone Tree Properties dusted off plans for the development project last year after becoming the sole owner of the property, and has inked a new MOU with district officials that allows it to negotiate annually for connections to Nanaimo’s water system and get a phased development agreement. The document, considered critical by the company, would prevent politicians from re-zoning the property after the district has been given amenities and parkland.
In return, the company has agreed to provide money and land, including 364 hectares of continuous park and property for a new fire hall and public works yard. Now the district is opening the deal to public discussion.
It’s good process, said Coun. John Coulson, who favoured the town hall meeting.
“It was a very hotly contested item back in 2006, 2007, when the original one was being developed and I don’t think we can assume residents wouldn’t have the same level of interest this time,” Coulson said.
Coun. Jennifer Millbank said the MOU is non-binding and contains options for the community on which council needs feedback, including whether the MOU reflects what residents want in a revised development agreement or have different ideas. If residents don’t want to do anything at all, the whole project would die on the vine.
“In my mind, the MOU is the starting point for the community conversation – it’s certainly not the end point,” she said.
A firm date for the town hall has not been set.