The Regional District of Nanaimo board has approved a proposed conditional land exchange agreement with a developer that involves land in community and regional parks.
The land swap deal with Wicklow West Holdings involves three components: Meadowood Community Park land exchange, Little Qualicum River Regional Park land exchange and the acquisition of a statutory right of way for a new portion of Little Qualicum River Regional Trail.
The RDN will acquire 1.06 hectares of Wicklow West’s land in exchange for 1.02 hectares of existing Meadow Community Park located to the Meadowood Fire Hall with a section to be dedicated as road.
According to Tom Osborne, the RDN’s general manager, recreation and parks, the regional district will gain a property that is forested and will be adjacent to the Meadowood Community Park, which he added is not reserved or a dedicated parkland.
Prior to completing the exchange, the RDN must publish a notice of the land exchange in accordance with Section 286 of the Local Government Act.
The RDN has agreed to exchange 0.27 hectares of Little Qualicum River Regional Park for 0.27 hectares of Wicklow West’s land. In doing so, Ashling Road will be dedicated as highway and will provide reconfigured, improved access to the regional park trail system. It would allow pedestrian regional trail connection, enhances usability, and provides a more coherent layout for the regional park.
However, the right of way designation can only be applied with the removal of the park dedication under the Regional Park Dedication Bylaw 1726, 2015.
The land exchange agreements must be endorsed by the electors through an alternative approval process. The board endorsed the electoral response form that is now available. The deadline to received responses for the AAP is 4 p.m. on Aug. 15 and it applies to 123,062 electors in the region.
Area F (Coombs, Hilliers, Errington, Whiskey Creek, Meadowood) director Leanne Salter supports the exchange as she believes the community is getting a good deal.
“It is a beautiful area that is being exchanged,” said Salter.
The RDN board gave the the conditional land exchange agreement three readings. The vote, however, was not unanimous as there were directors not happy the matter was not brought before the electoral area services committee first.