Trustees have expressed concerns that mapping produced to identify areas in which development permits will be required may need some tweaking.
However Trust staff say they are confident the mapping is accurate.
At the Oct. 3 Local Trust Committee (LTC) meeting at the WI Hall, Trustee Sheila Malcolmson said that community members have suggested that some of the steep slope mapping is inaccurate. Responding to a report from Planner Chloe Fox that an information meeting is in the works to discuss development permit areas (DPA) – or areas in which permits are required for development to proceed – for riparian areas, steep slopes, and hazardous areas, Malcolmson was concerned that they would be doing consultation about a map in which they don’t have full confidence.
Fox said the mapping was done by a consultant, and that the “high and moderate (slope) areas were buffered by five metres to accommodate” some of the consultant’s recommendations “around development near the crest”. She said she had “confidence” in the mapping and added that “ground-truthing” the mapping – or ensuring that the map represents the territory –would be very expensive.
Trustee Gisele Rudischer asked whether people who find themselves in an area that they believe is inaccurately portrayed will still have to apply for a development permit. LTC Chair David Graham said: “That’s the mechanism that we’re stuck with”. Rudischer asked if there would be a way of getting an exception.
Fox said they could “look at mechanisms within the permit for some sort of ground-truthing that applicants pay for”. She said “you’d have to look at the crest and then add some additional area on either side”.
Trustee Sheila Malcolmson said “ultimately the consultation refines mapping, conceivably, but we end up having to adopt it at the end of the day”. Rudischer asked “but when we do the consultation and someone shows up and says ‘I don’t think this is right on my property’, what are we going to do then?” She said they’d best have some mechanism to deal with this possibility so “there is a way to question this”.
Malcolmson asked what responses Fox was getting to an educational campaign to ensure Gabriolans are informed about the upcoming implementation of the new DPAs. Fox said she had received no comments so far. She said people are going to the website and looking at things “but so far no one has used the blog function”.
Malcolmson said it might be a good idea to send out a note to Gabriola meeting subscribers to tell them about the website and blog. Fox said they might get more interest once the mailout to impacted landowners is done. She said staff has been waiting for a date for the Community Information Meeting before sending out the notices. She said the mailout could include information about the website and blog.
Rudischer was worried that people will say they didn’t know about the DPAs. Malcolmson said there has been lots of newspaper advertising and articles about the changes. Rudischer said that only works for those who read the papers. She hoped the letter would reach others who need to know about the new bylaws.
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