This is how Kensington Island Properties was pushed through. After the Judge ruled the RD had illegally changed the bylaws to allow Kensington Island Properties to use Langley Lake WITHOUT public consultation, the RD ensured the stamp of approval by allowing anyone, anywhere to support a development in Union Bay. The decision was made by those who do not reside in Union Bay.
Employees of companies KIP does business with, owners of companies in Calgary, realtors, etc.
Wonder who the committee of concerned citizens were or was it orchestrated by KIP like the letter from their lawyer?
Water questions surround Kensington project
The Courtenay Comox Valley Record. Courtenay, B.C.:Dec 7, 2005. p. 4
Privatization of water from Langley Lake is not in the cards for Union Bay, says a spokesperson for Kensington Island Properties, responding to a report by the Comox Valley Water Watch Coalition that Kensington would "give the Valley's water resources to Terasen, now owned by the Texan multinational corporation Kinder Morgen."
Comox Valley Water Watch includes the Comox Valley chapter of the Council of Canadians, Concerned Citizens of Union Bay, the Canadian Union of Public Employees and individuals, according to coalition spokesperson Leslie Dickout.
Kensington spokesperson Brian McMahon said Kensington previously had a memorandum of understanding with Terasen regarding its proposed Union Bay development, but the MOU has expired and there is no ongoing agreement between the companies.
Kensington does not want to be in the utility business and plans to contract with utility companies to maintain water, sewer, electricity, television cable and similar services, McMahon said.
Union Bay water users are currently supplied by the Union Bay Improvement District, which will continue to supply them whether or not the Kensington project goes ahead.
The improvement district holds the provincial licence to pump water from Langley Lake.
The water is, in fact, owned by the Crown which issues licences to utilities which want to extract it.
If a utility company wanted to supply the Kensington development from Langley Lake, it would have to buy the water from the Improvement District, regional district staff said.
According to the regional district, the water licence could not be transferred to a private company without consent from a majority of the improvement district shareholders.
Since the improvement district is controlled by users, the improvement district would have to hold a general meeting and a majority of users would have to pass a resolution approving the transfer.
The regional district, which holds the water licence to Comox Lake, would have to go through a similar procedure to transfer its licence, staff said.
Some water licences in B.C. are held by private companies which operate utilities with varying degrees of success.
If Kensington finds enough water beneath its property to supply developers and manages to drill wells, the water licences could, in some cirmstances, be held by private companies, regional district staff said.
Olive branch offered as Kensington and CSRD seek talks
Positive signs were emerging last night that Kensington Island Properties and Comox Strathcona Regional District may be ready to back off further confrontation and try to resolve outstanding issues affecting the proposed 845-acre Union Bay development.
Company vice president Brian McMahon admitted he was "a little surprised" that the outcome of the incorporation referendum was a 'No' vote.
"I thought $20 million in Development Cost Charges dollars going directly in to the community rather than being shared with places as far away as Oyster River and Cortes Island would have been quite appealing.
I bet he was 'a little surprised' since it had been decided in July 2006, by members of the Union Bay Residents' Association, Langley Lake would be the water source for KIP if there was a 'YES' outcome. The developer was a member of UBRA and if he wasn't present at the meeting, he received the email. Can't say he didn't know can he? This was all cooked up by the Union Bay Residents' Association, who had no authority or right to be dictating any water source. I believe the developer was in fact behind the scenes directing the actions of UBRA (the only interest being KIP) interfering in our community, just like the attempt to interfere at the Annual General Election in April 2011, wanting to speak before we voted. This developer has been interfering far too much in our local government and community - in my opinion.
NOTE THIS: "The residents suggested counter-petitions, fundraising for their own lawsuits," There is a video of the Annual General Meeting in 2008, with a conversation suggesting fundraising to sue directors of BSASS personally in order to stop the court challenge involving the water source for Kensington Island Properties. Democracy?
Annual General Meeting and we have Elected officials and a bank manager casually talking about suing fellow landowners for exercising their rights. Talking about fundraising to sue! What the hell is going on? This is okay? It's no wonder people are afraid to open their mouths.
Kensington up in air, Union Bay group hears
The Courtenay Comox Valley Record. Courtenay, B.C.:Apr 4, 2008. p. A.3
It will likely be the fall before anything comes of a lawsuit filed against the Comox Valley Regional District regarding Kensington Island Properties' development bylaws, said company vice-president Brian McMahon.
During this week's annual general meeting for the Union Bay Improvement District, McMahon was asked to speak to the membership because of the development's impact on their local plans.
"Many of our future plans have been stalled by the uncertainty of the Kensington Island Properties development," said then-chair of the UBID XXXXXXXXXXX.
McMahon went over the background of the development --
The first hearing date for the B.C. Supreme Court petition, filed by the Baynes Sound Area Society for Sustainability, was set for last week, but that has now been delayed until "late May, early June," said McMahon.
There were questions from the roughly 40 people who stayed over two hours into the meeting before getting to hear the update --
The residents suggested counter-petitions, fundraising for their own lawsuits, involving their federal politicians and more.
They also asked Area A director Suzanne Murray about how the regional district was going to handle the situation.
"Certainly the regional district is going to defend its bylaws ... we believe that everything was discussed," she said.
"We believe in the bylaws so we're going to defend them."
While directors of the sustainability society had been at the AGM meeting earlier in the evening, they'd left for the after-break presentation by McMahon.
McMahon said they didn't know whether they'd wait for the legal process to play out or if a new set of bylaws would be put forward --
"We haven't set a timeline,
In the meantime, the UBID is beginning to make plans on their own for things like a waste-water treatment plant and land to put reservoirs on.
They're also moving forward with the local fire department in plans to build a new hall on the old Union Bay School site, which is now owned by the improvement district.
KIP dead, or is it?
The Courtenay Comox Valley Record. Courtenay, B.C.:Feb 8, 2008. p. A1
"If we have to start all over again, we're done."
Looking disappointed and dejected, Kensington Island Properties vice-president Brian McMahon gathered Thursday for local reporters and told them he could not go ahead with a planned development in Union Bay after the bylaws were not approved in time for adoption at the final Comox Strathcona Regional District board meeting.
While the original set of Kensington Island Properties (KIP) bylaws were approved by the CSRD, a second set was introduced following a lawsuit by the Baynes Sound Area Society for Sustainability.
The second bylaws received third reading in November but had to be approved by the Ministry of Community Services before being considered for adoption by the regional district.
Because they were not approved and therefore not adopted, they will have to start at first reading with the new Comox Valley Regional District.
KIP is almost ready to throw up its hands and be done with it, said McMahon.
"When we learned late yesterday the bylaws were not going to be signed, we said, 'That's it.' We're now into our 12th year. If we had approval to go forward, it's still two years before we look at residential units being made available to the public.
"To see this thing delayed another year, year and a half, I don't think we're prepared to do that."
Debra Oakman, general manager of corporate services at the Comox Strathcona Regional District, received a letter from Ministry of Community Services deputy minister Dale Wall on Wednesday stating "approval of Bylaw 3063 is premature at this time."
The ministry feels there has not been enough time to consult with the K'omoks First Nation, which wrote to the minister expressing concern the development could impact archeological sites and traditional use in the area and adequate consultation had not occurred, during the ministry review process.
"Ministry staff have now reviewed all of the information provided by the CSRD and carefully considered matters of provincial interest, including provincial approvals that are still required for the development covered by Bylaw 3063 to go ahead," wrote Wall.
"Given the complexity of this matter and that approval of this bylaw would need to occur at the CSRD's final board meeting Feb. 7, the minister has determined more time is needed to complete consultations with First Nations on the Kensington development covered by this bylaw."
Ministry staff will "work proactively" with the new Comox Valley Regional District to help complete consultations and move the process forward as quickly as possible, noted Wall.
McMahon was to meet with the regional district today to discuss the future of the development. He didn't know what was going to happen, but he wasn't hopeful.
"It's a tangled web, and we're caught up in it," he said.
The KIP project can technically go ahead under the first set of bylaws, even with the lawsuit, Tom Knight, the CSRD's community planning services manager, said during the final CSRD board meeting Thursday.
McMahon feels under they cannot continue under the old bylaws because of the lawsuit. While KIP was not named in the lawsuit, he worries about continuing with the development and spending millions of dollars then having it all go under.
KIP has already spent more than $5 million on the project.
They have started work on the golf course and done consultant work on the water and sewage. While no construction has begun, they are "poised and ready to go," said McMahon.
The development would have helped the community meet its needs for a new water filtration system, a new sewage treatment system and a new fire hall, and all that is in jeopardy.
McMahon met with Union Bay residents Wednesday night, and they tried to convince him to keep going, he said.
"I love those people dearly, but there comes a point where you can't afford to continue with a project that is going nowhere. I've been so close to them for the last nine years. I'm one of them now. To walk away from them is tearing my heart out. We all wanted to see this happen."
March 6, 2011 picture with a KIP photo inset from Reclamation document, I believe to be 2005.
We're heading down memory lane as I have gone back years in my files. I'm always so glad that I keep information. It's pretty hard to discuss or disagree with someone, when you're relying simply on memory, without evidence to support your position.
Rezoning bid by November?The Courtenay Comox Valley Record. Courtenay, B.C.:Jul 29, 2005. p. 2
Rezoning for a proposed 1,000-acre development proposed for Union Bay could go to public hearing as early as November if paperwork moves quickly, according to regional district staff.
Kensington Island Properties, which owns the land, recently filed applications for rezoning and amendments to the Official Community Plan to allow the project, staff say.
The applications have been referred to the Community Planning Committee and will likely be on the committee agenda in September. If the committee recommends approval, the application could go to the board the following month and to public hearing in November.
The Kensington property extends along the old Island Highway from Herondale Road to a point south of McLeod Road and about 1.5 miles inland.
According to Kensington vice-president Brian McMahon, the development would be phased in over 15 to 20 years and would include a marina adjacent to the coal hills that would accommodate 60 to 80 vessels, a 27-hole golf course along Washer Creek and some 1,100 residential units.
Kensington also proposes a sewage treatment and water system which could be developed in co-operation with regional district services.
About 51 per cent of the parcel would be occupied by greenspace, including the golf course, according to McMahon.
Copyright 2003 courtenay
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------Water a concern in Union BayThe Courtenay Comox Valley Record. Courtenay, B.C.:Aug 24, 2005. p. 1
Adequate water, traffic problems and urbanization topped concerns voiced by residents at a recent discussion of Kensington Island Properties' proposed 1,000-acre development surrounding the small community.
A near-capacity crowd filled the Union Bay Community Hall and more than 20 people spoke at the public meeting on Thursday. The meeting was called by a group of residents who want to ensure they have a voice in plans for the development, said organizer Monica Hofer.
Tentative plans unveiled by Kensington in June call for hotels and other commercial development on the coal hills area, a marina in the bay, a 27-hole golf course along Washer Creek and upwards of 1,100 residential units.
The Kensington property extends along the Old Island Highway from Herondale Road to a point south of McLeod Road and extends about 1.5 miles inland.
Kensington is researching availability of underground water in the area and has suggested raising the dam at Langley Lake (which currently supplies the Union Bay water system) to increase supply.
Speaker Gerry Sando said the potential for adequate water was doubtful at best.
"They keep saying that they will build a dam and clean out peat moss (which is currently growing in the system), but we will have health problems anyway with weather and peat buildup in the lines," Sando said.
But streamkeeper Robert Grant said research indicates there will be more than enough water for the proposed development if it is conserved during winter and spring and released during the dry season.
Meanwhile, the development might help clean up Washer Creek, which streamkeepers are slowly restoring, Grant said.
"Washer Creek is like a dump with old cars leaching into the water ... the stream is a disgrace, the coal hills are a disgrace. Coal is washing out to sea all the time ... there is acre after acre of dead land out in the water."
Bev Kenner replied "You could have all the old cars cleared out of there and it won't put any more water in the creek."
Kenner said she is concerned about traffic generated by the proposed development.
"When they built the new Island Highway, people who live along the old highway thought they had died and gone to heaven, but once they put industry in here, we will have more traffic. Unless they are planning to four-lane it and put in more stop signs and stop lights, I think traffic will be a problem for us," Kenner said.
Several residents noted that many of the dwellings in the proposed development would be marketed to retired people.
"They may be 60 years old when they move here, but in 20 years they will be 80 and many of our seniors have trouble getting into extended care now," a woman said.
Meeting organizer Monica Hofer said she worried that the regional district seems to be "fast-tracking" the project without proper feedback from referral agencies and local people.
Area A regional director Suzanne Murray replied that the property would have to be rezoned before any construction could begin and and the process is in a very preliminary stage.
A number of agencies will have to be consulted and the proposal will have to go to public hearing before a final vote by the board, Murray said.
Regional district staff say the proposal is to be discussed by the regional district community planning committee on Sept. 6. The committee will likely refer it to the regional board meeting on Sept. 19.
Former UBID Chair, Lois Flawse
Candidate favours development
The Courtenay Comox Valley Record. Courtenay, B.C.:Nov 18, 2005. p. 4
Area A regional board candidate Lois Flawse is strongly in favour of the proposed Kensington Island Properties development in Union Bay.Incumbent Suzanne Murray says she can't voice an opinion because of her current position on the regional board. Candidate Larry Pederson was unavailable for comment at press time.Flawse said the proposed 845-acre project will bring jobs and an economic boost to Union Bay.As well, Kensington Island Properties, the developer, has offered to help build a sewage collection and treatment system for both current residents and newcomers.
District Lot 7 should be set aside as a wildlife preserve and the regional district must ensure that the developer reserves adequate green space, Flawse said.
"I'm a little concerned that the regional district planning committee just doesn't have the capacity to deal with anything this large, so that is a little bit of a question mark," Flawse said.
Murray said the Local Government Act prohibits her from commenting on the development because she is the current Area A director and would likely chair a public hearing on the issue.
"I can tell you there are things about it that would be a real benefit to the community such as adequate water ... but issues have been raised by the community about matters such as water and sewage and we want all those questions answered and then we will go to the public hearing process," Murray said.
However, Murray said she could not prejudge the proposal until all the facts are at hand.
The Sell 2005
All Things Union Bay was created in April 2007, but concerns appeared prior to the blog.
I'll start with one of mine from OnlyAsking.com.
Kudos to Cliff Boldt for creating the website and providing accurate
information. My username was MrandMrs - ignore the signature - that's
when I was with whatshisname.
Aug. 2006 Suzanne Murray Responds to Earl Rogers OnlyAsking.Com
Edit: Dec. 30, 2011: Adding another post from OnlyAsking.Com. Oct. 18, 2006.
Right on Anne!
Right on Anne!
|Oct. 17, 2006. Kensington Island Properties
Dirty Little Fingers
Oct. 20, 2006. June Haner
Oct. 20, 2006. Lois Flawse, former Chair of Union Bay Improvement District.
Monica Hofer Oct. 20, 2006
Oct. 20, 2006. Jack Turner
Oct. 20, 2006. B. Bowen
Oct. 23, 2006 after the referendum.OnlyAsking.Com
(I believe the link above is from 2005)
more to come