Some Cultus Lake residents are sounding the alarm about a proposal to redesignate green space and laneways near the water to residential zoning.
FVRD area reps were slated to vote on rezoning the lots from P1 ‘park’ to R3 ‘waterfront residential’ on Tuesday night.
The “infill lots” provide access to the lake for residents and the public, and are on land that is some of the most “used and valued land” in Cultus Lake Park, according to one resident.
The rezoning proposal comes on the heels of Cultus Lake Park Board voting in August to rezone the lots from ‘public’ to ‘residential’ zoning, as part of the latest Plan Cultus designation.
Now some residents said they believe the FVRD is their “last hope” to protect the lands as public.
Gord Campbell, who sat on the Future Planning Advisory Committee committee a few years ago, wrote the FVRD area directors this week to ask them flat out not to vote for the residential zoning, even though they are being asked to do so by the park board.
Campbell explains why:
“To be clear, we are talking about lake front property that is some of the most used and valued land by not only the community but by the public at large,” according to Campbell. “These lands allow both residents and visitors to have direct access to the lake. Come down to the lake on a summer’s day and you will see this green space, our infill lots, packed with people.
“The sale of this land is not in the best interests of either the community or the many others who visit the lake.”
Campbell noted that the one concession made by the park board was that a public hearing will be called before any of the infill lots are sold.
John Wells, whose home is on 1st Avenue, is also against the residential zoning change.
“This would allow the sale of the last remaining bits of green space along the waterfront and the subsequent development of this land without ant further public consultation,” Wells told the Progress. “One of the infill areas is the Oak Street Park, that was expropriated many years ago and dedicated as an access park for the residents of Mountainside Drive by the park board of that era. Now it seems today’s park board has a different idea.”
Campbell acknowledged it would be hard for the area directors to dismiss what the elected commissioners voted on.
“I am asking that you do not adopt this change,” Campbell wrote.
“The land in question, our infill lots, have not seen any residential use for probably 50 years. It gets used for primarily two purposes. The laneways provide access to the lake and the green spaces give residents and visitors beach front space to enjoy the lake.
“This land is not used for residential purposes and has not had homes on it for as long as I can remember. It is not now, nor does the Community want it to become, residential land.”
He concludes by asking that FVRD vote to respect the “will of the community,” and against the wishes of the park board, and leave the lots zoned as park land.