The Municipality of North Cowichan has announced the location of a new site that’s in contention for development of a new North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP detachment.
We say, finalize the sale, approve it, and run.
It’s a no-brainer to pick this one over the other proposed site on Beverly Street adjacent to the Somenos Marsh.
We know it’s going to cost more because they have to purchase this land when they already own the other land.
But here’s the key point: nobody wants the new station built on the Beverly site.
We haven’t heard or seen a single opinion backing development there.
On the other hand, we’ve heard from plenty of people who hate the idea with a passion including those worried about building on farmland (the land is in the ALR, though an exclusion has been granted by the Agricultural Land Commission), those who are worried about encroaching further onto the marsh, and those who just think it’s a stupid idea to build any more structures in a natural floodplain, new dike or not.
Heck, there was even an Arms Around the Marsh event, partly in protest of the very inkling that a new RCMP station might go there.
So really, why would North Cowichan even consider doing something that nobody wants, when they have another viable option? The new site in contention seems like a really good fit at first glance.
It’s opposite the Cowichan Commons mall and close to the brand new Ford dealership. (We’re sure there will be some jokes about its proximity to a Tim Hortons.)
It’s clearly an area where development in occurring.
It’s also a spot that’s still central enough to Duncan to satisfy those who were worried about the possibility of the police moving too far out of town.
There is easy highway access, due to all of the aforementioned new development at the site, and alternate routes should the highway become blocked for any reason.
It’s not that far from the old site, and sits considerably higher and drier.
This one sounds like a winner to us.
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