Construction is ongoing at “Seacroft Estates”, where two homes are being developed on a 4.2 hectare (10.4 acre) parcel of private land adjacent to the old Laburnum Road (Lot C). Most of this parcel is recognized as environmentally-sensitive, and for this reason the Town has historically refused every development application requiring a zoning amendment or subdivision on this property. This continues to be the case.
The construction activities that are taking place are compliant with the zoning bylaw designation that was established more than 25 years ago and as such, the matter was not subject to a Council review or decision.
Although the land contains valued environmental features, two single-family dwellings are permitted in the zoning bylaw. Whereas previous landowners proposed developments that exceeded what is allowable in the zoning and were refused, the current owner is proposing to construct what is already permitted. In accordance with Town policy, the land owner was required to identify an area for the two homes that avoids the environmentally sensitive areas and areas with potential flooding risks.
The Town values the wetland ecosystem on this land, and through this process it has taken the appropriate steps to minimize and / or avoid negative impacts. Prior to any of the works starting, the Town required that the land owner undertake the following actions:
- A Registered Professional Biologist has confirmed that the clearing area is outside of the wetland boundary.
- The entire wetland area will be preserved in its natural state and protected by an s. 219 Restrictive Covenant before a building permit is issued. This covers approximately 90% of the site.
- A geotechnical report has confirmed the suitability of the proposed clearing area, subject to requirements regarding the flood construction level.
The Town has not issued a stop work order. The current delay in activity is to allow the Town the opportunity to review the work completed to date and ensure that all the required documentation is in place, as per the Town’s standard practice.
The Town values the ongoing commitment of community members who have expressed concern and wishes to ensure that the correct information regarding the activities at this site are received. The Town will continue to protect the entire wetland portion of this site while respecting that the owner has the right to use their land for the uses permitted in the existing zoning bylaw.
Luke Sales, MCIP, RPP
Director of Planning
Town of Qualicum Beach