Lake threatened by overdevelopment

The article by Robert Barron about the tragic effects of toxic algae blooms in Quamichan Lake highlights a much larger tragedy

The article by Robert Barron about the tragic effects of toxic algae blooms in Quamichan Lake highlights a much larger tragedy that I believe is happening at the level of decision making by our elected municipal officials — decisions that prioritize urban growth for the sake of increased revenues to the municipality.

I have lived on Quamichan Lake for seven years and have observed these algae blooms on the water’s edge. The surface of the water around our dock has sometimes turned a bright blue with the cyanobacteria that proliferate within the algae. I also have been intensely involved, along with 30 or 40 of my immediate neighbours, in an effort to prevent an ill-conceived development and rezoning of a small piece of land on Donnay Drive that borders the Quamichan Inn property. We have learned that this property, along with the rural lands surrounding the Quamichan Inn, as well as all the remaining rural and agricultural land on the south shore of Quamichan Lake along Maple Bay Road, is contained within the Urban Containment Boundary (UCB). The municipality is planning to implement a new zoning bylaw which would see all lands within the UCB eligible for high density urban development by property owners without any public input or application for approval to council.

On Friday, Oct. 28, a special meeting of council was called to consider information from hours of well researched presentations that were made by many concerned residents at three prior meetings. We clearly highlighted our concerns about the serious impacts that further development would have on the sensitive Gary oak ecosystem around Quamichan Lake and on the lake itself. Despite the compelling information we presented, council voted in favour (four to three) of this development.

There are potentially 1,700 more dwellings that will be built at the top of Mount Tzouhalem and along Maple Bay Road. The remaining rural land along the south shore of Quamichan Lake, also contained within the UCB, is at serious risk of high density development as the current residents age and sell their properties to developers and property owners who see only profit above all else in these rich agricultural lands. These developments will have significant impacts on the lake’s water quality. An appeal to council to protect the land along Quamichan Lake has been made but so far ignored.

Perhaps if this article had been available to councillors earlier this week, it might have provided them with a stark reminder of what their priorities should be. As our group stated to council compellingly and convincingly, there is ample land to be developed that is more proximal to the urban core without the need to build dense subdivisions in sensitive zones.


Patricia Seymour

Maple Bay

Just Posted

Column Drivesmart: I want my car simple again

Today’s high tech cars that have centre console mounted displays should be against the law.

Providence Farm unveils new labyrinth garden

Created with the help of a $20,000 grant from the Victoria Foundation

Column David Suzuki: Oil spills pose unacceptable threats to marine life

Threat to marine mammals in B.C. waters from a seven-fold increase in tanker traffic is considerable

Column T.W. Paterson: This unpublished memoir is a gem

“I looked round and suddenly realised I had not the slightest idea where I was”

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

B.C. casino accused of illegal activity follows rules: operator

B.C. had launched review after concerns about money laundering at River Rock casino in Richmond

Opponents of LGBTQ program to file human rights complaint against Surrey School District

District denied Parents United Canada right to rent Bell Performing Arts Centre for rally next month

Ex-employee describes alleged sexual assault by B.C. city councillor

Complainant was a teen during the alleged 1992 incident

Amazon gets 238 proposals for 2nd headquarters

Submissions were due last week. Online retailer has said tax breaks and grants would be factors

Justin Timberlake invited back to Super Bowl halftime show

A ‘wardrobe malfunction’ with Janet Jackson caused a national controversy during his last appearance

A scary box office weekend for everyone but Tyler Perry

‘Boo 2! A Madea Halloween’ scared up a healthy $21.7 million in its first weekend in theatres

Even as long-form census data returns, Statcan readies for day without it

Wednesday’s release is expected to show immigrants making up a larger share of the population

B.C. VIEWS: Horgan fumbles salmon farm threat

Lana Popham falls for anti-aquaculture propaganda

Most Read