Sticking points get in the way of Beverly Street UCB

North Cowichan councillors recently shoved aside shortcuts that might have seen a new urban containment boundary declared along the dike by Beverly Street.

At first it looked like at least one of the options might pass but then the sticking point appeared to be what to do with a three-cornered piece of land that had once been touted as the prime spot for a new RCMP station.

Suggestions included leaving it as wetland or making it part of a wetland and mixedcommercial-use zone.

Council was also being asked to draft a bylaw to amend the official community plan to adopt an updated University Village local area plan and councillors felt they hadn’t had a chance yet to say their piece on other University Village ideas.

“We should go back to committee of the whole and have more discussion. I’m surprised we’re having this meeting. We haven’t had the conversation,” Coun. John Koury said.

Another sticking point was that the ideas put forward didn’t seem to reflect all the work done by the stakeholders group.

“We set out to consult with the community, to look at the whole picture,” Coun. Kate Marsh said. “To have this come up at the last minute and have us jump on it bothers me.”

Councillors like Koury and Al Siebring liked moving the urban containment boundary back from its current location along Beverly Street to allow for more options for development but not everyone agreed.

“Moving the UCB is unfortunate. It does suggest things to the public,” said Mayor Jon Lefebure.

Opponents to the idea of moving the boundary have expressed concern about urban sprawl.

At the end of two hours of talk, a slightly exasperated municipal CAO Dave Devana was reduced to trying to rescue something.

“Is there any agreement on the RCMP site? We’ve been unable to accomplish even that today,” he said. “The stakeholders said to leave it as the status quo, but what do you support? We have to resolve that.”

But at that stage it was a no go. However, there was still lots to talk about, and some councillors were looking at revisiting the idea and coming to some conclusion before their next regularly scheduled council meeting towards the end of August.

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