Ladysmith council has drawn a line in the forest, or at least it wants the developer of the Holland Creek project to draw one that follows the contours of the Arbutus Hump.
Council asked Glenn Carey of Glencar Consultants Inc. to redraw a line marking the upper limit of development along the slope of The Hump so that it follows the topography of the site.
“Why the straight line and not a line that follows the contours of the land?” Mayor Aaron Stone asked.
He pointed out the difference on a projected map of the Holland Creek development, noting that if a straight line is followed it would end up pushing the developable area farther up the slope.
Carey responded, “That line is not fixed in stone.” He added later that the intent is to place a multi-unit component of the development on a ‘bench’ lower down.
The Town of Ladysmith and Glencar Consultants have been negotiating back and forth on where to place the development boundary on Arbutus Hump.
At its Feb. 1 meeting council asked Carey to flag the existing development boundary and what was proposed on the slope of Arbutus Hump so councillors could take a look for themselves.
Coun. Rob Hutchins said the boundary appeared to cross over a rocky outcropping instead of going around it. Developing the area didn’t ‘make sense’ and would require extensive blasting, he said.
Stone noted that the desire to preserve an area on top of Arbutus Hump isn’t only for the sake of it’s arbutus stands. The view from the summit also needs to be protected for the public.
“The prize up there isn’t simply the arbutus,” he said. It’s also the view.”
Carey responded that any development would be far enough away and low enough down the slope not to block public viewing from The Hump’s summit.
“You are not going to see any of the buildings we put up from the Hump, period,” he said.
Council thanked Glencar Consultants and the project proponents for working with the municipality, but insisted they wanted to see the contour lines on a map before approving the Holland Creek plan.
On a motion from Hutchins council instructed staff to work with Glencar Consultants to develop a boundary ‘that respects the natural topography’ and protects a greater portion of the Arbutus Hump.