North Cowichan to sign agreements with VIHA to allow long-planned sea walk in front of the Chemainus Health Care Centre to move forward. (File photo)

Chemainus sea walk plans get a boost

North Cowichan to sign right-of-way agreements with VIHA

Plans for the construction of the Chemainus Sea Walk in front of the Chemainus Health Care Centre have moved one step further.

North Cowichan’s council agreed to sign a restrictive covenant and statutory right-of-way agreements with Island Health to facilitate development of the proposed sea walk at its meeting on June 5.

In 2011, council adopted the Chemainus Town Centre Revitalization Plan which identified development of a waterfront walkway as an important project to help revitalize the town.

In 2013, North Cowichan purchased 9933 Esplanade St. to allow for waterfront access, and in 2014, the municipality began discussions with Island Health to obtain permission to build the walkway and a marina in front of the health care centre.

Island Health agreed to grant North Cowichan a right-of-way for the sea walk, provided the municipality restricted uses on its adjacent land to avoid potential future conflicts with the health centre.

Council consented to the condition and, after some minor changes to the agreements were made, council re-affirmed its approval, in principle, last month of entering into the agreements with Island Health that would move the project along.

Alyssa Meiner, North Cowichan’s information management officer, said in a staff report that Island Health has not required any payment for granting the right-of-way, other than reimbursement of its legal costs to produce and register the agreements.

“Obtaining upland owner consent, with approval of the agreements, is the first of many steps required to proceed with the sea walk,” Meiner said.

“There are still a number of steps required, including an application to the province for a foreshore or water-lot lease in front of the health care centre after the agreements have been registered on title. Marina development is a much longer range plan.”

North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring said he’s pleased that the plans for the sea walk are finally moving forward.

“This has been with us a long time and the subject of many meetings over the years,” he said.

“It warms my heart to finally get something done.”

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