Linley Valley developer Mount Benson Developments Inc. has launched a civil suit in the Supreme Court of British Columbia against all Nanaimo residents who crossed onto private property known as Linley Valley West. They have been listed as Jane Doe, John Doe, and Other Persons.
Nanaimo residents are familiar with Jane/ John Doe court orders when the City of Nanaimo when to court over the Colliery Dams issue.
At the October 21, 2013 Nanaimo Council meeting there were presentations from concerned Nanaimo residents about the process in which the development was proceeding. Here is an excerpt from Joanne Jonas’ presentation that evening:
Jonas: There were some bylaws broken on this property…heavy machinery was used in [removing] a seasonal pond, this was to have been taken apart by hand, there were beavers and red legged frogs living in the pond at the time… The machinery went in at 6:45am and the Ministry of Environment was called and they said that special permission was given at 8:30am that morning…
Here is some of the discussion that council had with staff:
Bestwick: Heavy machinery work was to be done by hand, who was monitoring that?
Seward: The developer hired an environmental consultant who works with the Ministry of Environment regarding those regulations. My understanding in one case there was a dam in place that physically could not be removed by hand and the Ministry approved removing it with a machine.
Bestwick: So the photos we have of the particular area that was done, it just seems odd that the person hired to observe on behalf of the [Ministry of Environment] would have a bias, so that is concerning to me that the [City] wouldn’t have a check on that, that seems quite strange to me, and that really bothered me in the Rutherford Road development as you will recall me speaking up against that at the time. The bio inventory in the 15 to 45 meter [set back] do we have anything that we can enact at this time?
Swabey: Given that the development has been approved, there is a cost with negotiating any changes after the fact.
Bestwick: The bluff and steep slopes—is this the connector?
Swabey: There are different roads…. some [roads] are on the bluffs
Johnstone: Have the development plans changed? We have never seen the plans…but he [Linley Valley developer] assured me that the old growth forest on the bluff would all be preserved and remain. He also indicated to me that the 15 meter riparian setback, that he would bring that to a 30. Now unless my memory fails me that’s what I recall him saying…
Swabey: I don’t doubt your memory, there are many parts to the property…
At question period Mr. Fuller asked if a larger set back from the ponds could be considered and his question was met with silence.
The following is the civil suit against Nanaimo residents named as ‘John/Jane Doe, and Other Persons’: