A goat on the roof at Coombs Old Country Market. The Regional District of Nanaimo’s Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) has begun a process working toward possible incorporation. (Black Press file photo)

A goat on the roof at Coombs Old Country Market. The Regional District of Nanaimo’s Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) has begun a process working toward possible incorporation. (Black Press file photo)

RDN’s Coombs-Errington area looking at becoming its own municipality

Regional District of Nanaimo board supports official request, asks for more information

A process has begun for the Coombs-Errington area to move toward becoming its own municipality.

The Regional District of Nanaimo board has endorsed an Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) governance and services study to be conducted, as well as a request to the province to assist with funding and and in developing the terms of reference. The board also directed staff to write a letter of support regarding Area F’s request. It was a motion made by director Leanne Salter.

Area F has attempted to get the incorporation process started in the past. That included a 1995 feasibility study that showed a municipality for the area was feasible. But it was terminated in 2003. In 2011, former director Julian Fell attempted to restart the process but it stalled at the provincial level.

“Area F has a strong sense of community and has long held its own standards of social structure and lifestyle,” said Salter. “Residents are aware of their significant connection to the environment and have a tenacious respect and understanding of the natural resources we depend on for daily support. We are less dependent on government infrastructure and recognize the impact to the resources we depend on when considering development trends in our area. Municipality status would allow our community more autonomy and self-determination with regard to internal matters such as a sustainable lifestyle, environmental considerations and bylaw standards reflective of the local community rather than those of staff resident in Nanaimo.”

To ensure Area F’s plans advance this time, Salter made a motion to the board on Dec. 8 that only one electoral area be allowed to engage in incorporation application at a time, to avoid disrupting the process of the electoral area that is seriously moving towards incorporation.

“In the past, when Area F indicated they wanted to restart the incorporation process, either another director, a provincial budget or zoning issue would arise which would halt Area F moving forward,” said Salter. “The result being that Area F have not been able to complete our incorporation process due to obstruction from outside influences. My motion is to ensure for all electoral areas, that the process is not disrupted by another director once the motion has been supported.”

Salter told the board it takes a lot of staff time and resources to handle multiple applications. She pointed out the province won’t process two applications at the same time.

“There’s no value in doing that,” said Salter. “We seemed to be not catching that in the regional district and this motion simply just catches that and it speaks to the fact that you only can have one at a time from the electoral areas going forward.”

Parksville director Ed Mayne said he did a fair amount of reading on the subject but did not find anything to support Salter’s rationale.

“If somebody is saying that in the province it’s because they don’t want to do the work for it,” Mayne commented. “That may be a different situation and that should be taken up with the particular minister involved at the time. I don’t think any one area should be over another one. If two areas want to be considered, so be it. Let it be. It shouldn’t be one at a time because it could take far too long. It’ll be years before some of these things to get through. So I am not in favour of this at all.”

City of Nanaimo director Ben Geselbracht said board members need more information before they can vote. He made a motion to refer the matter to staff to come up with a report on the process for incorporation and boundary restructuring, as well as any relevant historical information.

“This is a big process that requires the province and the impacted areas [including] the surrounding areas,” Geselbracht said. “Also, all members of the board should have shared base information when making these decisions. I think with full information, it puts us in a better position to support areas going through this process.”

The RDN board endorsed the motion to request a staff report.

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

READ MORE: Nanaimo Regional Hospital District board approves budget, eyes major projects

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter 

Nanaimo Regional District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Capt. Bryun Ashlie, left, and Lieut. Stu Kenning, of Nanaimo Fire Rescue, tackle fires burning in two shopping carts in St. George Ravine Park, Thursday afternoon. The cause of the fire, which destroyed both carts and their contents, is undetermined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Shopping carts found burning in Nanaimo park

Firefighters douse flaming carts and contents on asphalt pathway

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a motorcyclist who refused to stop for police near the Nanaimo River Road and White Rapids Road intersection on April 10. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP seek ‘stunting’ motorcyclist, who fled from police

Rider spotted near intersection of Nanaimo River Road and White Rapids Road April 10

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on the property

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
Nanaimo sees fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 31 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Nanaimo from April 11-17

Island Health has issued an overdose advisory for Nanaimo. (Black Press Media file photo)
Overdose advisory issued for Nanaimo

Island Health warns of ‘toxic drug supply’ in Nanaimo, Victoria, the Comox Valley and Campbell River

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial: Victim left to conclude out-of-court settlement on the day he disappeared

Trial of Richard Alexander in death of John Dillon Brown continues in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria

Most Read