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Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District returns to public hearing for Sproat Lake Landing

Owners are applying to rezone property from rural district to tourist commercial district
The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District office is located in Port Alberni. NEWS FILE PHOTO

The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) will be going back to the public hearing process for a controversial development at Sproat Lake Landing.

The owners of Sproat Lake Landing are applying to rezone a 1.75-hectare portion of the property from rural district to tourist commercial district in order to add 15 cottage-style buildings.

The ACRD board gave third reading to a bylaw in favour of this rezoning on June 8, voting against the recommendations of Sproat Lake director Penny Cote. Cote said at the time that residents of Sproat Lake are not in favour of the development.

READ MORE: Neighbours not happy with proposed changes for Sproat Lake Landing

But on Wednesday, Oct. 12, the board voted to rescind this this reading and hold another public hearing. Regional district staff explained that this was done after considering legal advice, because new information had been brought forward to the board after the initial public hearing in March.

“There was a six-month timeline between the public hearing and the board considering the bylaws, and during that time new information has been brought forward to staff,” explained Mike Irg, the ACRD’s general manager of planning and development. “In staff’s opinion, it is in the public interest to hold a second public hearing to bring all of the information provided into the open for discussion and to allow all members of the public, including the applicants, the opportunity to respond to any new information.”

The public hearing has not been scheduled yet, but acting board chair John McNabb said last Wednesday that he wants it be held soon.

“It needs to be held as quickly as possible, so it doesn’t damage the investment opportunities that may exist,” said McNabb. He suggested that the process should be “heavily guarded” so the ACRD board doesn’t end up in the same situation again.

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Elena Rardon

About the Author: Elena Rardon

I have worked with the Alberni Valley News since 2016.
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