Ladysmith Matters – A Community Update

Ladysmith Mayor Rob Hutchins provides an update on some of the big issues council is currently dealing with.

Ladysmith Mayor Rob Hutchins

Ladysmith Mayor Rob Hutchins

Couverdon/TimberWest Boundary Expansion

The Town of Ladysmith has been asked to consider a boundary expansion to incorporate approximately 700 acres of land that lie west of our community. A single property owner, TimberWest, owns these lands.

Couverdon, the real estate arm of TimberWest, first approached the community in 2008. This proposal has been in the media and a matter of discussion at a variety of public meetings over the past six years.

Town Council has placed the following conditions on this proposal:

a. Watershed Protection — Approximately 500 acres of private forest lands within the Stocking and Holland Lake Watershed to be turned over to the community.

b. Viewscape Protection — Private forest lands on the hillsides behind Ladysmith to be harvested in such a manner as to minimize impact on views

c. Smart Growth — Any development considered for the 700 acres must incorporate Provincial Smart Growth Guidelines.

Town Council has initiated a public approval process. In the near future, you will be able to find details on the proposal on both the Couverdon website www.couverdon.com and the Town of Ladysmith website at www.ladysmith.ca.

The Alternative Approval Process Elector Response Form and a Fact Sheet about the proposal will also be available online or at City Hall, the Frank Jameson Community Centre, or at our Development Services Office at the corner of Second Avenue and Roberts Street.

Finally, Demolition of the Barge on Slack Point

The World War II-vintage floating dry docks have continued to be a challenge to the communities of Ladysmith and Chemainus for over half a decade.

Of the five original large barges that made up the dry docks, three have now sunk in the waters near Chemainus, one still remains afloat in Chemainus, and one, under the direction of the Ministry of the Environment (MOE), was towed to Slack Point and pulled partially ashore for the purpose of demolition.

Slack Point, legally known as water lot 16G, is owned by the Crown.

The barge has now been demolished. Unfortunately, much to the frustration and disappointment of many citizens who visit our waterfront, there now is a small mountain (over 1,000 tonnes) of woody debris in the middle of Slack Point, awaiting removal. MOE staff are actively seeking a site for the wood waste, but to date we have not been provided with a timeline for removal.

Peerless Recycling Centre

The re-constructed and greatly expanded Cowichan Valley Regional District Peerless Road Recycling Centre is expected to be open by the end of February. This $4.2-million project involved: containing and capping over 45,000 tonnes of ash from the old incinerator, building two new scales and a scale house (no need to get out of your vehicle to pay), re-constructing the old incinerator building, and installing over 20 easy drop-off, at grade-level bin sites (no more heavy lifting up into a bin). This dramatic face-lift and the expanded disposal options will prove to be an excellent addition to our community.