There have been three main issues for Lantzville, which one caused the councillors to snap?
Nanaimo/Lantzville water deal
Lantzville Foothills development project
Urban Agriculture permits
So far, none of the councillors has given any tangible reasons for quitting. Some say the issue was over the appointment of the Mayor to the Regional District of Nanaimo.
The senior staff includes a Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), a Director of Financial Services, and a Director of Corporate Administration (DCA). In recent years, those positions have had high turnover.
Lantzville has a population of 3,400 with 6 councillors and a mayor. How does this compare to other places in BC?
The City of Rossland and District of Mackenzie both have a mayor and six councillors which govern a similar sized population. The Village of Cumberland has a growing population but seems to function with a mayor and four councillors.
Should Lantzville merge with Nanaimo? It might reduce redundant administration positions and reduce taxes. In last few years, Lantzville’s population has dropped significantly as per the table below.
Towns in British Columbia
Lantzvillians might wonder what goes on behind closed doors at City Hall…
Concerned residents have set up a website called Save Lantzville Forest to let the public know that there are plans to log upper Lantzville.
Here is the information you need to know:
Where is it?
Why is this of concern?
What can you do?
This forest located in Upper Lantzville is located within the Coastal Douglas Fir ecosystem, one of the most endangered ecosystems in British Columbia. The forest contains a fish-bearing stream (Knarston Creek), wetlands and vernal pools. Plus, a number of threatened species live in the forest. Also, residents use the area as it is easily accessible and has a well established trail system.
The area of concern is Woodlot 1475. It is a 244 hectare parcel of public land located in Upper Lantville (see map). It is an “urban forest” given that it is located in a residential area with more than 100,000 people living within 20 km.
Why has this public forest been designated as a woodlot? How much will the Ministry of Forests benefit?
It appears to the Save Lantzville Forest group that the Ministry of Forests has only viewed this area through the lens of “fibre production” – as simply another forest to be logged and hasn’t considered managing this forest for non-timber values such as recreation and biodiversity, despite the fact that it’s one of the few remaining parcels of publicly owned land on this stretch of Vancouver Island.
According to their website (SaveLantzvilleForest.com) annual revenue to the government would total approximately $1,000 for license fees and stumpage.
The overall concern is that over time there will be fewer and fewer opportunities to walk through an intact mature Coastal Douglas Fir forest. Instead, trails will pass mainly through clearcuts and fir plantations, an experience for which there is no shortage of opportunities on Vancouver Island!
An independent biologist report has been completed on WL 1475. The comprehensive report includes important information such as:
“at-risk” owl species
Residents hope to convince the Ministry that this land should be saved from logging considering that so many citizens enjoy this land and wish to protect the forest for future generations to enjoy. They are trying to convince the Minister of Forests that the majority of citizens in this riding don’t want to see this forest treated as a woodlot.
Considering the recent focus by BC government agencies on stewardship of the Coastal Douglas Fir Zone, this site should be considered a high priority for protection and/or special management.
To learn more about the Woodlot 1475 and offer your support, go to the Save Lantzville Forest website.
How frustrated are Mid Vancouver Island residents with illegal garbage dumping? Extremely frustrated.
Illegal dumping raises significant concerns with regard to public health and safety, property values, and the environment. If not addressed, illegal dumps:
attract more waste
pose a fire risk (become targets for arson)
serve as magnets for other criminal activities (dumping stolen items)
contaminate drinking water
harm fish habitat
spread invasive plants
In lower income areas, residents have difficulty affording trash pickup and disposal fees. The problem tends to be worse in areas with a high population of renters who have less stake in the community or absentee property owners who do not respond to problems. At the same time, illegal dumping is given a low priority by local governments.
The City of Nanaimo apparently has a budget of $20,000 a year to deal with illegally dumped garbage out of a $200 million dollar budget.
Recently, residents had enough of an illegal dump site behind Rosstown Road in Nanaimo and 27 people came to clean up the area. They removed 4.14 tonnes of garbage.
The facebook site “Stop Illegal Garbage Dumping” where these pictures are from shows the great efforts people have taken to do something about illegal garbage dumping locally.
The facebook site also highlights illegal garbage dumping at Little Mountain in Errington and the unusual odors emanating from this illegal dump. Over the years people have raised their concerns but so far the regional district hasn’t made any plans to clean it up.
According to the Regional District of Nanaimo’s website in 2012 they recovered 42 tonnes of illegal garbage spread out over more than 60 locations. But has anything been done recently?
It doesn’t appear from their websites that the communities of Nanaimo, Lantzville, Ladysmith, or Parksville have any fines for dumping illegal garbage. Nor do they have any page on their websites where someone can report illegally dumped garbage such as this online form from the City of Richmond.
Cassidy and Errington have a garbage problem
Despite the fact that garbage collection is a service provided by the RDN in Cassidy and Errington, it appears by all the dumped garbage in the backwoods and roads in the area that a LOT of residents “dump or lose” their trash.
Volunteers removed eight to ten tonnes of illegally dumped garbage on logging roads from Cassidy down to Peerless Road in Ladysmith (near the new dump, ironically). According to the facebook site volunteers have cleaned this same stretch yearly for the last four years, collecting about eight tonnes per year.
**Representatives from the RDN must canvas these areas to find out why the residents are dumping and what can be done to address this issue.
Nanaimo Visitor Centre across from illegal garbage dump
On Northfield Road, directly across from the Nanaimo Visitor Centre, sits piles of illegally dumped garbage. Let’s remember tourists are in the process of deciding if they want to visit downtown Nanaimo and enjoy our beautiful harbour city. Will this pile of garbage turn them off?
Over a million dollars for bird contract at garbage dump
In 2013, PK Bird Control Services was awarded a three-year, $649,500 contract “to keep the skies clear” at Nanaimo’s regional landfill (8 birds & 6 handlers). Over the years this has added up to over a million dollars on bird control services. There should be no food waste to attract birds anymore so is this really necessary? The contract is set to expire early next year. Could this same amount of money be applied to cleaning up the Nanaimo area?
Still no yard waste collection in Nanaimo
There are currently 26,414 households that receive garbage collection. There are still no plans to start yard waste collection in Nanaimo. Other communities have it. Why not here?
The cost of dumping yard waste at the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is:
$5 minimum (even for a small grocery bag)
$10 car or van
$15 regular truck or trailer (overload rates apply)
Taxes are going up every year, the governments are growing and people are seeing less and less services. Why should people spend their spare hours cleaning up after thoughtless people? Let’s demand service from our local governments to get the mid island cleaned up.
At the last council meeting on Monday, February 24, 2014 Nanaimo Council voted 5-3 in favour of providing water to Lantzville. Mayor Ruttan stepped out for the vote as he lives in Lantzville.
What is the rush to provide water for Lantzville? There is a massive housing development planned, called the Lantzville Foothills, located above the Island Highway and the Woodgrove Centre covering approximately 1800 acres, space for about 800 homes. It is scheduled to go on the market in 2015.
The biggest challenge for this development was where to get water. Now the City of Nanaimo has solved the problem by voting to supply water to Lanztville Foothills, outlined in red.
The Nanaimo – Lantzville water vote was held on the evening of a brutal winter storm with mountains of snow everywhere. That didn’t deter three speakers who all spoke about their concerns regarding the water deal. Some of their questions were:
Will these new homes in Lantzville have water meters?
How much will this cost Nanaimo taxpayers?
Is this just for residential homes or is it for commercial areas in Lanztville as well?
Jump Lake ran dry in 1987; it will again, what are people going to do?
Will Nanaimo have to build a dam on Nanaimo River?
Is this just a “business deal”?
2012: Looking for water solutions in Lantzville
Here is a snippet from a Lantzville Council meeting back in February 27, 2012 where
David Behan President of Lone Tree Properties Ltd. spoke to Lanztville Council about their attempts at finding a water solution for the Lanztville Foothills:
“…we began a well exploration program on property on Biggs Road and have proven a potable source of water for 365 gpm which is enough for over 300 residential units and meets Canadian Safe Drinking Water Standards for a potable source…”
2014: Water problem solved – get water from Nanaimo
In December 2013, Lone Tree Developments became the sole owner of the Foothills property after spending more than a year in the courts trying to acquire the front-end parcel from the foreclosed Lantzville Foothills Estates Inc.
Lone Tree Developments aims to have the Foothills Development on the real estate market in 2015. In the meantime, Nanaimo is facing its own challenges with water supply expected to max out by 2020 or sooner.
How will the City of Nanaimo solve its future water problems and get out of debt? Will Lantzville be forced to amalgamate with Nanaimo over water and debt?
As people look out over the Salish Sea from North Nanaimo, Lantzville and Nanoose they are overlooking the Ballenas Basin which is the deepest part of the Strait of Georgia with an average depth of 400 meters. This makes it the ideal place for the military to test torpedoes.
Whiskey Golf is a military test range and the area is monitored for boats from the North Winchelsea Island. So if you paddle too close, naval personnel appear and shout at you to stay clear. Over 56 square nautical miles are monitored.
It is the most important of the four test ranges maintained and operated by the Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Keyport (NUWCDIVKPT), jointly operated by the United States and Canada.