Stz’uminus looking to develop north of Ladysmith

The Coast Salish Development Corporation has big plans to turn the Four Corners properties north of Ladysmith into a small village.

The Coast Salish Development Corporation has big plans for development at Oyster Bay or the Four Corners north of Ladysmith.

The Coast Salish Development Corporation has big plans for development at Oyster Bay or the Four Corners north of Ladysmith.

The Coast Salish Development Corporation has big plans to turn the Four Corners property north of Ladysmith at Oyster Sto-Lo Road into a small village.

The Coast Salish Development Corporation (CSDC) is the economic development corporation of Stz’uminus First Nation. And it sees a lot of opportunities for mixed use development in the area known as the Four Corners or Oyster Bay.

Oyster Bay is one of the four Stz’uminus First Nation reserves. It contains 97 hectares of land adjacent to Ladysmith Harbour and the Trans-Canada Highway.

“For the past three years, we’ve done a lot of work with the Stz’uminus First Nation band, and we’ve done a lot of work in terms of developing infrastructure and to position ourselves to take advantage of some of the economic opportunities that exist,” CSDC CEO Ray Gauthier explained during a recent presentation to the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce. “The band made a decision about four years ago to get real serious about creating wealth and to take advantage of some of the economic opportunities that are in the area. We call it building a small town, building a little town down the road.”

During the Chamber of Commerce meeting, Gauthier showed videos about Oyster Bay and other CSDC projects.

“The Four Corners are a big part of phase one of a 20-year development plan,”states the video.

The CSDC’s land use plan includes developing a new community that includes tourist accommodations, retail and residential areas, along with a centralized main street with unique shops.

“As the next big step in economic development for the Stz’uminus First Nation, the Four Corners project is an immediate opportunity situated along the Trans Canada Highway at the intersection of Oyster Sto-Lo Road,” states the video. “Approximately 25 hectares of land is designated for development over the next five years.”

The land use plan identifies a mixed use village centre located off the Trans Canada Highway. This village centre will create a focal point to the new Oyster Bay community, combining retail, commercial and community facilities, as well as high-quality new housing, the CSDC notes.

Planned housing projects include single family homes, duplexes, patio homes, townhouses and apartments.

Adjacent to the Four Corners properties sits an additional 140 acres of undeveloped land designated for residential use under the Heart Lake Development Partnership. This joint venture between the Stz’uminus First Nation and a private investor provides 280 acres of land, bringing the project forward as one of the largest residential developments on Vancouver Island, according to the CSDC.

A potential 18-hole golf course is now part of the partnership, explained Gauthier.

“It’s gone from 280 acres to about 450 acres, so there’s another piece of land that a group out of Kelowna is looking at, and they’re basically wanting to combine the three parcels, including some reserve land,” he said, noting it would end up being 400 units of residential opportunities plus a golf course.