Neighbours can apply to buy undeveloped road right-of-ways (ROW), but usually the highways ministry will ask the Local Trust Committee’s (LTC) opinion on the sale before agreeing to it.
At a June 18 Gabriola Transportation Association (GTA) meeting at Agi Hall between Gabriolans and highway officials Fire Chief Rick Jackson noted that there are a number of ROWs on Gabriola, and said he had heard that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) is willing to sell them to neighbouring land owners.
MOTI Operations Manager Johnathan Tillie said owners can apply to buy a road, but MOTI usually considers whether there is a public use for the land before selling it.
In response to a question about who MOTI checks with about these requests, Trustee Gisele Rudischer said land owners have asked to do this twice, and the Local Trust Committee was asked their position on the idea. She said it has been the committee’s policy so far to say no to selling off public right-of-ways.
Meeting attendees also asked Tillie whether a gravel pit at the end of Honeysuckle Road, could be ceded to the community as a park. Meeting attendees said there is no gravel in the pit, and it has been unused for so long that it now is populated with 20 foot tall trees. Regional Director Howard Houle said the area is full of trails and is already being used as a recreation area.
GTA member Randy Young asked what the status of the gravel pit is. MOTI Operation Manager Johnathan Tillie did not know but said he would “get back to you” on the question.
In other GTA meeting news, meeting attendees also said the condition of Harwood Road off Malaspina is ‘atrocious’, and that the road shoulders in the Village should be swept more often so they are safe for pedestrians and cyclists.
Meeting attendees also gave kudos to EMCON – the company that maintains the roads on Gabriola – for recent roadside mowing, and for the good job of snow-clearing and sanding in the winter.
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