The developer looking to create a riverfront community near Stotan Falls has, for the time being, opened the gates that have been blocking traffic flow on Comox Logging Road and Duncan Bay Main.
“As a matter of good faith we opened the gates yesterday (Thursday) to indicate that we’re willing to sit down and try to resolve the situation,” 3L Developments spokesman Kabel Atwall said.
The company hopes to construct homes and develop trails at the confluence of the Puntledge and Browns rivers. However, the Comox Valley Regional District has said the proposal is not in synch with the Regional Growth Strategy, which that addresses land use in the Valley over the next 20 years. In March, the district board rejected an offer from 3L to purchase the property for $9 million. The offer included Stotan Falls and Bull Island.
“The directors do not support the intensive urban residential development that 3L is proposing and are concerned about the impacts that such a development would have on the surrounding resource lands and agricultural areas,” board chair Edwin Grieve states in a letter to 3L president David Dutcyvich.
The company then closed the gates and enforced No Trespassing signs at Stotan Falls — a popular swimming hole and hiking area. A Save Stotan Falls Facebook page appeared shortly thereafter, as did a protest at the falls.
The district has given 3L three options: apply to rezone, subdivide or amend the RGS. The company chose the latter.
“Maybe that will move things along a bit,” Atwall said. “Hopefully we can all work together to get this thing resolved.
“We think it’s a win-win for everybody,” he added. “It’s no cost to the regional district because we’ve got our own water and sewer, and they can collect millions of dollars in taxes from us. Plus get 50 per cent of the property as park, including the river beds and everything else.”
District CAO Debra Oakman will meet with staff next week to discuss preparing a report for July’s committee of the whole meeting.
A Frequently Asked Questions bulletin regarding 3L Developments and Stotan Falls has been posted at www.comoxvalleyrd.ca.