Watershed Service AAP postponed

One of the three Alternative Approval Processes has been temporarily postponed, according to the CVRD.

One of the three Alternative Approval Processes has been temporarily postponed, according to the CVRD.

The AAP for adoption of Bylaw No. 3930 – Cowichan River Watershed Management Service has been dropped for now as the “projected service area did not identify all of the proposed properties,” according to a news release.

“The properties in question, which include Catalyst Paper, are located in the Municipality of North Cowichan but fall outside of the geographic boundary of the Cowichan watershed. These properties were to be included in the service area due to their reliance on water from the Cowichan River,” said the release.

The properties were inadvertently omitted during the process of incorporating property data from North Cowichan into the legal description of the CVRD service area.

The public won’t see the AAP again, likely until early 2016.

The establishment of a watershed management service would involve a maximum tax hike of $9.13 per $100,000 of residential assessed value for residents of the whole of the City of Duncan, the whole of the Town of Lake Cowichan, portions of the District of North Cowichan, Electoral Areas B (Shawnigan Lake), D (Cowichan Bay), E (Cowichan Station/Sahtlam/Glenora), F (Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls) and I (Youbou/Meade Creek), and those North Cowichan properties still to be added.

The watershed management service has been a main topic of discussion at local governments ever since community group One Cowichan raised the profile of the issue and the CVRD board began to investigate the far reaching impacts of the Cowichan River running dry, CVRD chair Jon Lefebure said last week.

According to the CVRD, the AAP provides an opportunity for residents to register their opposition to establishing a given service.

In this case, if more than 10 per cent (2,992) of the estimated 29,916 eligible voters within the proposed service area oppose Bylaw No. 3930, the board must hold a referendum if they wish to proceed.

Two other AAPs are proceeding as planned.