Circled in red are parcels of TimberWest land the Town of Ladysmith hopes to gain title to through a land deal with Couverdon

Circled in red are parcels of TimberWest land the Town of Ladysmith hopes to gain title to through a land deal with Couverdon

Couverdon will hold community open house in February

Ladysmith council has received a formal boundary extension proposal from Couverdon and a process schedule.

The Town of Ladysmith has received the formal boundary extension proposal from Couverdon Real Estate and is now figuring out the next steps in the process.

Council received an update on the process schedule for Couverdon Real Estate’s boundary extension proposal during the Dec. 16 council meeting.

Couverdon and Ladysmith are brokering a deal whereby Ladysmith would expand city limits to include a 283-hectare parcel of land west of the Diamond — stretching from north of Grouhel Road to Malone road — in exchange for Ladysmith gaining title to 180 hectares of TimberWest land adjacent to Stocking and Holland lakes. If everything goes ahead, Couverdon would foot the bill to build roads, install services and subdivide lots in preparation for the sale of parcels beginning in early 2017.

Couverdon’s application includes a preliminary land use concept which envisions “a mixed-use community which will be an extension of the historic fabric of the town, building upon the community’s strong community history and culture,” according to a staff report from development services director Felicity Adams.

Council had previously provided direction for the consideration of the Couverdon boundary extension proposal that the proposal be considered under the criteria of acquisition of watershed lands (both Stocking Lake and Holland Lake) to protect the drinking water that supplies the Town, the Diamond and Saltair and the proposed service to Stz’uminus First Nation; viewscape protection (the forested hills behind Ladysmith); and that any development must employ Smart Growth Practices and support the Town’s Sustainability Vision.

On Dec. 16, council agreed that staff should consider the proposal under those criteria, and council directed staff to proceed with the review of the proposed 283-hectare boundary extension proposal as outlined in the process schedule.

As well, council voted that the Town ask Couverdon to present the Watershed Acquisition Proposal, Viewscape Protection Strategy and Land Use Concept Plan to council in January.

Back in November, council had directed staff to prepare a process schedule for the consideration of the boundary extension proposal submitted by Couverdon Real Estate, including municipal electoral approval by alternate approval process.

The proposed schedule is based on the consideration of council’s conditions for the application, as well as the provincial boundary extension process.

Council has requested that Couverdon host a community open house to present the boundary extension proposal to the Ladysmith community, and the process schedule includes this open house in February, to coincide with the alternate approval process.

In January, Couverdon will be making a presentation to council at the Jan. 27 meeting, at which time council will vote whether or not to authorize submission of the proposal to the provincial government. At this time, council will also direct whether or not to proceed with the alternate approval process.

If the proposal is submitted to the Province, the ministry review will take place in late January and in February.

Couverdon would then hold a community open house in mid-February.

The deadline for receiving electoral responses to the alternate approval process would be mid-March, and council would vote whether or not to approve the final proposal. If council approved the boundary extension, it would need provincial approval, and the Ministry would need to prepare Letters Patent to implement the proposed boundary change.

For more information about Couverdon’s proposal, click here.