Zoning history at the Lake

Victoria – Re: “Speak up against RV zoning at the Lake” May 8, 2015 The area in question is a 35 lot subdivision bounded by Marble Bay, Nantree and Peri Roads subdivided into half acre lots in 1961, prior to the CVRD’s existence.

Few, if any, records exist, however evidence suggests the lots were marketed and sold as unserviced seasonal recreational properties. Indeed the majority of the lots have been used for that purpose ever since, primarily in the summer months. The CVRD zoned the area “residential” in 1975, as it did 90 per cent of the lakeshore.

Unfortunately, it would appear little investigation was done to confirm the suitability of this, and other areas, for actual year-round residential use.

Specifically in our neighbourhood, lot size and winter flooding has proved detrimental to residential construction. Indeed the entire area is within the 100 year flood plain.

Nevertheless 10 houses were constructed in the late ’70s and ’80s apparently with septic systems which by today’s regulations would not be approved. The remaining properties are family cottages or RV sites.

Clearly our recreational properties, as well as similar lots on both sides of the lake, have been in contravention of the zoning bylaws. In order to address this situation a group of property owners approached the CVRD to resolve the situation.

We were advised to submit a rezoning/zoning amendment application as the only mechanism to address the problem. CVRD agreed that the interface of residential and recreational use is a problem not only around Lake Cowichan but other high intensity recreational areas on Vancouver Island and the interior of B.C. The current process of CVRD planning staff’s review as well as public meetings, is to come to a reasonable solution which all Nantree/Peri owners can live with and perhaps can be applied to other areas.

Sherri Nilsson