Echo Heights concerns aired at open house

Plans for Echo Heights will be drafted after North Cowichan council decided to push ahead.

Plans for Echo Heights will be drafted after North Cowichan council decided to push ahead.

Chemainus residents want answers when it comes to the Echo Heights development.“What’s with pushing this and doing it now?” asked Chemainus resident, Bernice Ramsdin at the North Cowichan open house on March 3 at the Chemainus Legion.The Echo Heights development which would sit on North Cowichan-owned land is zoned residential, but is mostly forested.Under the plans, 40 per cent would be developed for housing, with the remaining preserved as parkland.“I would like to see it left entirely alone,” Ramsdin said. “We have something within our community that’s a precious piece of land that should be reserved.”The open house was an opportunity for residents to hear about the Echo Heights development and the rest of North Cowichan’s Official Community Plan.Another Chemainus resident, Barbara Swanson, said she’s worried about the wildlife in the forested area.“Where do they expect them to go?” she asked.Echo Heights is situated on 54-acres of second-growth forest.Swanson said she doesn’t want to see the development at all.“We need to save that for this community.”Ramsdin echoed her concerns.“We’ve got other areas that can be developed rather than taking down a forest,” she said. “There’s going to be a fight and they know it.”At the regular council meeting on Wednesday, March 2, council voted to direct staff to draft a bylaw to create a Comprehensive Development Plan for Echo Heights and adopt the proposed communication strategy.With Councillors Dave Haywood, Al Siebring, Ruth Hartmann and Mayor Tom Walker in favour, the motion carried.Coun. George Seymour  voted against the motion, along with Coun. Garrett Elliott.“I’ve tried to find a way to address the concerns reflected,” Seymour told council. “I’m torn between various issued and the merits of them.”Seymour proposed a referendum for the next election — a move that was voted down by council.“This is a potential unique area,” he said of Echo Heights. “The potential for this area to be a unique laboratory preserved for interest and study does exist.”Mayor Walker pointed out the development still has a long way to go.The bylaw, once drafted, would still require first reading from council and then would go to a public hearing.

Just Posted

(File photo)
Poverty reduction survey identifies 10 poverty themes

Poverty reduction plan will be finalized in July 2021

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Paul Manly says he has no intentions of leaving the Green Party. (House of Commons image)
Island Green MPs have “no intention” of leaving the party after ‘heartbreaking’ departure

Manly, May only remaining Green MPs after Jenica Atwin left for the Liberals over internal disputes

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Justine Keefer’s Cedar Elementary School Grade 6/7 class put together a student paper, as part of a school project. Pictured here Andrew Gregory, left, Felix Leduc, Addison Armstrong, Lucia Walker and Anise Dick. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Cedar Elementary School students create their own newspaper

Grade 6/7 class publishes Wolf Pack News as part of language arts and social studies

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements’ invention La Méduse (the Jellyfish) removes oil from the ocean. The invention was one of 15 out of 700 inventions submitted to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada’s Little Inventors contest. (Cole Schisler photo)
‘Little Inventors’ from Ladysmith showcased in national science challenge

Évangeline Laforest and Oscar McClements were one of 15 finalists in the Little Inventors Challenge

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Most Read