At the March 7th Council meeting, Council authorized a park land swap with a local developer to build a multi-storey parking facility and medical offices across from Nanaimo General Hospital at 1515 Dufferin Crescent.
Under the agreement, the City and the Developer are exchanging 82.7m2 (890 sq ft) of land.
The developer has plans for a new trail to Beaufort Park. Final approval of the land exchange is subject to an Alternative Approvals Process (AAP).
In order to proceed, Council is required to have approval of the electors prior to bylaw adoption, in accordance with the Community Charter. Approval of the electors may be received by way of an Alternative Approval Process (AAP), or assent voting (i.e. referendum). If 10% of the electors oppose the proposal by submitting a valid elector response form then the land swap cannot proceed.
The approval process applies to the whole of the City of Nanaimo which has 64,996 voters so 6,500 would need to sign petition forms and submit them to the City by Monday, April 25th.
The Beaufort Park looks like it has been nibbled away over the years, what remains is a very odd shaped park. Previously in 2013 park land swaps were common. Another example of the City cannibalizing its own parks is the recent Georgia Park/Hilton Hotel land swap.