Once there was a 1,100-acre tract of urban wilderness in North Nanaimo. The City of Nanaimo had an opportunity to make Linley Valley a park that would rival Stanley Park in Vancouver.
Most of this area known as Linley Valley is held by private interests who have seen a huge return on their investment despite having done nothing except getting the land rezoned. Before, Linley Valley was not included within the urban containment boundary (UCB) and now it is.
Originally when this area was included into the UCB, it could only be subdivided into five acre parcels allowing two dwelling units per parcel. This meant there could only be 440 homes in the whole area. Now there are plans for a 353 home subdivision on approximately 25 acres, which will cost Nanaimo taxpayers $2.5 million to bring services to these homes. Not to mention the City of Nanaimo bought a residential lot for $425,000 on Vanderneuk Road which could house a pumping station.
In 2002, Watt Ventures Ltd. presented a $100,000 donation to the Nanaimo Area Land Trust in lieu of park land for Linley Valley.
The problem with developers ‘donations’ to third parties is that there is no accounting of where the money goes.
Team Save Linley Valley West is holding a public meeting on Wednesday, September 18, 2013 at 7pm, the location is the Kin Hut in Departure Bay, Nanaimo.