A discussion about new grading of roads, and an update about possible movement towards implementation of a bike path were two issues that remain in need of follow-up after a spring meeting with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI).
Providing a verbal report on the meeting at the September Local Trust Committee (LTC) meeting at the WI Hall, Trustee Sheila Malcolmson said new grading of roads might affect activities in the road allowance. She said the Official Community Plan (OCP) is clear that the road allowance should remain “looking natural, and having trees in it”. She said the LTC may need to remind EMCON and MOTI about those directions.
Malcolmson also wanted to know if there are any thoughts on how the OCP policy around bike paths might be implemented.
Malcolmson also noted that a review is upcoming around how EMCON is fulfilling its road maintenance contract. She said the LTC will probably be consulted on that review, and “I just don’t want it to be a surprise to us when all of us get invited to a meeting without having talked about it beforehand”.
The LTC has also not discussed the Regional District of Nanaimo’s proposals about a Village footpath, Malcolmson said. She acknowledged that proponent Steve Earle has presented the plan to the LTC, but thought it would be helpful, “especially if the regional district needs it for any of its application work … to get a letter from us saying ‘this does align with OCP policies in the following areas’ “.
Trustee Gisele Rudischer wondered if the regional district is looking at the possibility of installing a trail in front of the first phase of the Madrona mall, “that’s treed, but it’s half on the road allowance and half on (Madrona mall) property”. Regional Director Howard Houle, who was at the meeting, said staff is working on a bylaw to take on the authority for roadside trails and sidewalks. He said the funding for the trail will probably come out of the Community Works fund, and they will try to work with the landowners to keep all the trees.
Malcolmson noted that the Gabriola Lands and Trails Trust may also renew its efforts to have a gravel pit between Barrett Road and Honeysuckle Lane turned into parkland. She said this also fits in with OCP policies. She suggested the LTC renew its advocacy on this issue, “and possibly look at a free Crown grant application”. She said it might be a good idea to remind MOTI of all the advocacy policies in the OCP pertaining to highways.
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