A Lantzville councillor says he looks forward to addressing conflict of interest allegations in court after 12 residents filed a petition to have him removed from office.
The group of Lantzville residents claim in a petition, filed on Nov. 25 in B.C. Supreme Court, that Coun. Bob Colclough was in conflict when he voted on a number of motions relating to the Lantzville-Nanaimo water agreement and a Lone Tree Properties development known as the Foothills.
Colclough told the News Bulletin that he was informed of the petition on Monday night and that the allegations filed in court against him are untrue.
“I look forward to addressing them in court,” Colclough said. “It’s unfortunate that it has come to this. I have, as I’ve said before, a high level of integrity.”
In court documents obtained by the News Bulletin, the petitioners claim that Colclough was in conflict when he voted on approving the $800,000 construction of a water pipeline to the border of Nanaimo.
Petitioners claim in the application that Colclough’s decision to vote during an Oct. 12 council meeting on a motion to receive a report detailing the history of a subdivision bylaw and the Foothills – after he had previously declared himself in conflict on issues relating to the Foothills – was a violation of the community charter. The petitioners claim that Colclough did not get legal opinion prior to voting on the issue.
Colclough said he holds himself to high standards when it comes to ethical behavior and professional conduct.
“I am a very ethical, honourable person … and I conduct myself in a very professional manner no matter what,” he said.
The Foothills development proposal is currently headed by Stone Mountain Development and its subsidiary, Lone Tree Properties. The mixed-housing subdivision development has been in the works for more than a decade and has encountered numerous obstacles, mainly securing an adequate source of water, which is a requirement by the District of Lantzville.
According to court documents, Colclough owns property adjacent to Foothills development and intends to subdivide the property with Lone Tree Properties agreeing to service it with water, sewer and road connections.
The dozen residents in the petition allege that a revised Foothills subdivision application, not publicly available, was submitted to the District of Lantzville in October of this year and lists Colclough as a partner. They also allege that Colclough has been “advancing” the Lantzville-Nanaimo water agreement by voting on issues relating to the matter and that the water agreement, once triggered, will eventually provide water connections to the Foothills development and benefit Lone Tree.
Concerns about Lantzville councillors being in a conflict of interest relating to the water agreement were raised in July. Although the District of Lantzville’s legal counsel determined in September that no councillor was found to be in conflict on the water agreement, the issue has continued to be raised at council meetings.
Colclough said what has been said about him on social media and during some of the council meetings is far from accurate.
“It’s not true … and I am just appalled,” he said. “I normally for that reason, I don’t respond because it doesn’t warrant a response. It’s personal attacks.”
None of the allegations against Colclough have been proven in court.
“It is what it is,” Colclough said. “I am just looking forward to getting it over with.”