Lantzville needs to evolve or die.
That was just one of dozens of statements made by residents of Lantzville and published in a recent report about the future of the district.
Last month, the District of Lantzville released its Official Community Plan update and Water Utility Master Plan Public Engagement Report, which was done by Lanarc Consultants in September.
The report is the result of a series of questions and responses completed by 121 people regarding the district’s current Official Community Plan and what future growth, if any, in Lantzville should look like. It also includes responses from an online questionnaire that was posted on the district’s website from Sept. 12-23.
The topic of growth in Lantzville has been a dividing one for some and only 39 per cent of respondents wish to see a 0.5-per cent a per year growth in the district, while 17.2 per cent want no growth.
The village core is only a few minutes’ drive from Nanaimo’s Woodgrove Centre and the district’s only grocery store closed earlier this year, but despite all this, 71.6 per cent of participants indicated that they would like to see some kind of grocery store, farmers’ market or market in Lantzville. Nearly half of respondents also wanted more parks and trails in the district.
On the subject of density, 40 per cent of participants felt there shouldn’t be any higher density uses than there is today in Lantzville, while 22 per cent felt higher density development should be limited to the village core.
The report also indicates that respondents are more in favour of single-family homes and senior’s housing versus higher density lots, such as townhouse or low-rise apartments.
Respondents were asked to write down some of the positives and negatives about Lantzville. While some residents felt that Lantzville needed to evolve, others disagreed and took pride in the rural feel the district offers.
“I love the easy going rural atmosphere, being able to walk everywhere, the beach, the trails, being close to Nanaimo, but not being Nanaimo,” said one respondent.
Other comments related to amenities people wished to see in Lantzville such as an aquatic centre and shops.
Mayor Colin Haime told the News Bulletin he was pleased with the report but would have liked the sample size to be greater than 121 people, adding it was surprising to see the desired pace of growth results.
“The growth in terms of house building that had occurred to date without water was in the 0.5-per cent range in terms of construction values,” he said.
Haime said the desire for such low growth combined with the community’s desire for various amenities sought was not realistic, adding that the demand for more retail stores could not be sustained without higher density.
To read the entire report, please visit http://lantzville.ca/cms/wpattachments/wpID724atID4113.pdf.