1. NEIGHBOURHOOD PLAN
To view the current version of the Departure Bay Neighbourhood Plan, go to the following City of Nanaimo link:
2013 LOCAL ISSUES
January 24, 2013
Alumina Ship Wheel Project
On October 25,2012 a tribute to Canadian Mariners was unveiled at Departure Bay beach.The most prominent part of the display involves the ship wheel from the 4 masted schooner, Alumina, which was originally launched in 1901. Two members of the DBNA Executive, Dave and Joan Shillabeer were instrumental in obtaining the wheel from the Nanaimo Museum and in getting it mounted for display purposes.
The unveiling ceremony was attended by the Mayor, several City Councillors, members of the Neighbourhood Association and local residents.
The majority of funding required for this undertaking was provided by members of the Neighbourhood Association. Major donors are listed on the ship wheel plaque, however, the project would not have been possible without the additional financial support provided by the following members:
Stuart and Jan Chantree, Linda Cole, Norah Forrest, Inger Gidska, Michael and Penelope Grant, Wilbur and Barbara James, Shamus and Bonnie McGlynn, Daphne Paterson, Phyllis Reynolds, Eric Ricker, Eleanor Routley, Rosina Schmidt, Wayne Schulstad, Jane and Murray Walters, Erik Warners.
January 24, 2013
Departure Creek Tree Planting
During the last week of December 2012, approximately 25 hearty volunteers braved wet, blustery conditions to plant in excess of 200 shrubs and trees along Departure Creek in Woodstream Park. The volunteers came from the Neighbourhood Association, Streamkeepers Groups, Harbour City River Stewarts and the City of Nanaimo. The planting materials were provided through a grant from the Pacific Salmon Foundation and from the City of Nanaimo.
The plantings were actually part of a larger salmon enhancement project on Departure Creek that has been funded over the past 2 years by the Pacific Salmon Foundation. One of our members, Jean Michel Hanssens has been instrumental obtaining the grant monies from the Foundation and in managing the projects that have been carried out along the creek.
When you walk through the park you will notice that many of the newly planted trees are surrounded by white plastic cones. These have been placed to protect the plants from foraging deer. Please do not remove the cones.
Water Park Make Over
You may have noticed the construction work going on at the Centennial Park Water Park. The City is in the process of updating the water features. An all new park will be open by June 1. The updated waterpark will cover the same area as the old one.
2011 LOCAL ISSUES
Feb. 25, 2011
City of Nanaimo, Parks and Recreation is seeking input from our neighbourhood on the types of programs that could be offered at the Kin Hut, Departure Bay Activity Center and other recreational facilities in the Departure Bay area. To assist in this evaluation, Parks staff have put together an online questionnaire that can be accessed by clicking on the following link ( you may have to press Control and then click on the link).
Alternatively the questionnaire can be accessed on the City of Nanaimo website
If you have 5 or 10 minutes to spare and would like to provide the City with your thoughts on the types of activities you are most interested in, please complete the questionnaire.
2010 LOCAL ISSUES
January 28, 2010
Letter sent to Integrated Land Management Bureau, BC Provincial Government supporting protection of all of District Lot 56 , Linley Valley as long term parkland for residents of Nanaimo.
Departure Creek Rehabilitation Update
Sept 15, 2010
On Sunday Sept 26 from noon to 4pm , the Nanaimo Area Land Trust will be holding an open house at the Kin Hut to talk about habitat retoration work along the creek.
June 17, 2010
NALT has advised that a project to improve fish passage in the creek is scheduled to go ahead July 19-23, 2010 weather permitting. The work will be undertaken by the City and will involve the removal of a portion of the concrete sediment trap in the creek near Bay and Elk Streets. Any fish in that portion of the channel will be trapped and moved before the work begins. The Nanaimo Area Land Trust, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the City of Nanaimo are all involved in this project.
See below ( Nov 2009) for more information on the overall project.
Removal of the sediment trap was carried out by the city in July 2010 as planned. Portions of the existing concrete structure were removed and replaced with blasted rock.
City of Nanaimo Zoning Bylaw Rewrite
The City of Nanaimo is in the process of updating Bylaw 4000- the Zoning Bylaw that regulates the form and size of structures that are allowed in the City. The bylaw also identifies the various zoning designations that apply ( single/multi family residential, commercial, industrial) to specific portions of the city. This update is being carried out so that the bylaw conforms with the New Official Community Plan, which was adopted in 2008.
Should you wish to review a draft copy of the bylaw or provide feedback to city staff, a draft copy of the document and a questionaire are currently available on the City of Nanaimo website at:
Briefly, many of the proposed changes reflect a desire to increase densities within the city. Some of the proposals include:
-allowing smaller single family residential lots
-allowing density bonusing for green developments
-establishing minimum building heights and maximum setbacks for developments within corridors
-allowing new forms of housing including row housing and suites above detached garages
-allowing front porches to project into setback areas
- allowing residential development in shopping centers
The new bylaw also replaces all of the previously zoned commercial properties with new corridor designations. In total four different corridor zones are proposed, requiring various degrees of residential development. At the moment, updated land use mapping has not been completed so it is not possible to tell how the corridor designation might affect the Departure Bay waterfront area ( previously zoned C-4 Commercial).
Along with the questionnaire included on the city web site, city staff have indicated that they plan on holding a series of open houses this fall to get additional public input.
On Dec 13 several members of the DBNA Executive meet with planners from the City of Nanaimo to get updated on changes being proposed to the Zoning Bylaw. The Executive was looking for assurances that the Departure Bay Neighbourhood Plan recommendations would be recognized in the new bylaw. The main points discussed are summarized below.
- The Zoning bylaw will recognize the boundaries of the Departure Bay village core area identified in the Neighbourhood Plan. The areas currently zoned C-4 along Departure Bay Road and Wingrove Street will be shown as a Commercial Center (CC2). Building heights will be limited in the CC2 area to 9m.
- One of the permitted uses within the CC2 designation is a recycling depot. City Staff indicated that a bottle return type of facility is all that would be allowed.
- Within the village core area staff also indicated that the 2 storey mixed use and 2 storey multi family residential areas would be recognized by staff.
- Land use plans will show the existing zoning.
- The Executive raised concerns over the generous density bonusing provisions proposed for mixed use developments and developments meeting green environmental standards. In particular the Executive had conserns that the density bonusing provision could allow for building heights exceeding those otherwise permitted in the bylaw . Staff agreed to relook at these proposals particularly as they relate to building height.
- City staff will be holding a series of open houses to obtain further input from the pulbic. Proposed dates and locations are:
Feb 8, 2011 Nanaimo Ice Rink Lounge 2, 750 Third St., from 5:30 to 8:00pm
Feb 10, 2011 Beban Park Lounge from 5:30 to 8:00pm
Feb 16, 2011 Dover Bay School Multi Purpose Room from 5:30 to 8:00pm
Feb 17, 2011 Firehall #4 1425 Cranberry Ave., 5:30 to 8:00 pm
2009 LOCAL ISSUES
Off leash Dog Park Open House
July 16, 2009
The City is seeking public input concerning the possible establishment of new off leash dog parks in Nanaimo. Fourteen newsites are currently being considered. Some of those that may be of interest to DBNA members include Linley Valley, Wardropper Park, and Beach Estates. An Open house will be held by the City's Parks and Recreation staff on Wedneday July 29, from 4 to 8pm at the Beban Off Leash dog park ( off Labieux Road) . Interested DBNA members are encouraged to attend and provide your feedback.
Further information is available from Parks and Recreation offices or online at www.nanaimo.ca
Departure Creek Rehabilitation
November 8, 2009
The DBNA Executive have been in discussions with Nanaimo and Area Land Trust ( NALT) over the initiation of a project to rehabilitate the fish habitat in Departure Creek. NALT has taken the lead in contacting other agencies such as Federal Fisheries and the City and in seeking possible sources of funding for such an undertaking. The goal is to re-establish coho and pink salmon to the stream. So far, the initial response has been very positive.
The project is currently in the early stages. We have provided NALT with a letter of community support to aid in its search for funding and will be in ongoing contact with NALT as the project evolves. Updates will be posted on the web site as more information becomes available.
Burn It Smart Workshop - Nov 27 2:00 to 3:30 pm at the Kin Hut
Air quality monitoring carried out last winter showed the Departure Bay area, specifically Bay Street from Hammond Bay to Newton Street, as a hot spot for poor air quality in the City. Wood stoves are felt to be a big contributer to the amount of fine particle pollution present. The Burn it Smart workshop, put on by the City of Nanaimo, Ministry of the Environment, BC Lung Association and the Wood Energy Technicians of BC should be of interest to those interested in doing their part to lower emission levels in the area. There is no charge to attend the workshop. More information is available on the City of Nanaimo website ( What's New section) or from Rob Lawrance, Environmental Planner at the City of Nanaimo. He can be contacted by phone at 250-755-4483 or by email at Rob.Lawrance@nanaimo.ca
2. 2008 LOCAL ISSUES
2.1 Proposed mixed use development 2835 Departure Bay Road (Cottage adjacent to "Tides" property, midway between Wingrove and Bay Streets)
January 15, 2008
At the request of the property owner, three members of the Dbna Executive met with the owner and his architect to discuss the development now being proposed for this property.
The information provided indicated that the new building being proposed for the site would be three storeys high, with a small amount of retail space on the ground floor ( likely a coffee shop), four condominiums on the second floor and a single large condomium unit on the third floor.
A rezoning is not required for this type of development. However, considering the limited size of the lot, it is anticipated that several variances from the Zoning Bylaws may be needed to accomodate the size of building proposed. Exact variance requirements are not known at this point, however they could possibly involve things such as the amount of off street parking provided, yard setbacks, allowed height of the building in relation to the amount of retail space provided, and the amount of open space provided. There also remains a question of how vehicles would access the site.
Given the recent archaeological finds at adjacent "Tides" property the owner indicated that he will be undertaking further archaeogical investigations and that he will be having ongoing discussions with the Snuneymuxw First Nation.
The Executive have recommended to the owner and to City Planning staff that an open public meeting be held as soon as possible to provide the community with clarity on what is being proposed for the site, particularly considering the cancellation of the adjacent "Tides" project. We have also indicated that there is also a need for community input should the proposed development require significant variances as these could set a precedent for future redevelopment along the beachfront.
2.2 Draft Official Community Plan
April 12, 2008
Letter prepared on behalf of the DBNA Executive and sent to the City. The letter outlined DBNA concerns with regards to the draft version of the Nanaimo Official Community Plan ( background information and a copy of the letter was also emailed to all association members). Concerns were expressed regarding apparent conflicts between the draft OCP and the Departure Bay Neighbourhood plan, proposed future urbanization of the western portion of Linley Valley and the lack of meaningful community input into development proposals.
All members are encouraged to review the draft OCP document and provide comments to the City by April 25, 2008. A convenient survey questionnaire is available on the City of Nanaimo website.
2.3 Tides Property 2855 Departure Bay Rd
April 22, 2008
DBNA was advised by the Snuneymuxw First Nation that the sale of the property is now complete. The Province now owns the property and will be working out a joint management agreement with the First Nation in the near future.
2.4 Summer Events
Annual DBNA Picnic- June 22. Photos will be posted on the Photograph Pages of this web site. Tribal Journeys- July 26. Snuneymuxw First Nation will be holding a major cultural event at the Kin Park. Events are open to the public. Starting at 11am the Spirit Pole will be available for public carving. This is a new totem pole that is being created for use in the North American Indigenous Games to be held in Cowichan later this summer. At 2pm a large number of canoes will be landing on the beach. At 5pm there will be an unveiling of a new welcoming gateway which will remain as a permanent feature in the Park. Events are expected to wrap up early in the evening. Bathtub Race- July 27. A link to the official bathtub race website is included in the Links section of this web site . Check it for the most up to date race details.
Annual DBNA Picnic- June 22. Photos will be posted on the Photograph Pages of this web site.
Tribal Journeys- July 26. Snuneymuxw First Nation will be holding a major cultural event at the Kin Park. Events are open to the public. Starting at 11am the Spirit Pole will be available for public carving. This is a new totem pole that is being created for use in the North American Indigenous Games to be held in Cowichan later this summer. At 2pm a large number of canoes will be landing on the beach. At 5pm there will be an unveiling of a new welcoming gateway which will remain as a permanent feature in the Park. Events are expected to wrap up early in the evening.
Bathtub Race- July 27. A link to the official bathtub race website is included in the Links section of this web site . Check it for the most up to date race details.
2.5 December 3, 2008 meeting with Parks staff
Attendees from DBNA
Attendees for the City
1. Kin Park Improvements
The city indicated they have funding allocated in 2009 to upgrade the outside washroom in
the Kin Park. Main upgrades will be to the plumbing to allow the washrooms to operate in
winter. There is currently a problem with the pipes freezing. Improvements to the interior
lighting in the building are also a possibility.
Possibility of painting murals on the outside of the Kin Hut was also discussed. The city
would like to see proposed designs from the neighbourhood if we want to go ahead with this.
Funding may be available from City art programs. There was recognition that further
consultation with the Community and First Nations was required.
Need for ongoing maintenance of the Kin Hut building in the form of repairs/replacement of
the front door and painting of the exterior building trim was also discussed.
2. Waterfront Walkway
City confirmed that $300,000 in funding is still allocated in the 2010 Parks budget for
improvements to the existing walkway. This includes levelling of the asphalt, a new railing and
improved overhead lighting. There was much discussion about the City holding an open house
in the community to get input to the design. The City indicated that this was likely to happen in
the middle of 2009.
The need to upgrade the landscaping carried out as part of last years road improvement
project was discussed. The cityís landscaping staff will be discussing suitable additional
plantings with the DBNA prior to next spring.
3. Volunteers in Parks
The city is supportive of the community taking an active role in further tree planting efforts
(further to last yearís efforts in Woodstream Park) and efforts to deal with invasive species.
Parks can provide support if the neighbourhood wants to undertake volunteer work.
4. Centennial Park
As a follow up to removal to the Lacrosse Box last year, the city will be undertaking
additional works in 2009. More shade trees will be planted and a picnic area created near
the old Lacrosse Box site. In addition changes will be made to the overhead lighting to make
the sports field more useable at nights.
5. Wardropper Park
The need for neighbourhood consultation on future enhancements to Wardropper Park was
discussed. The City prefers that the DBNA consult with the community and develop
Following the meeting it was confirmed by the City that $13,500 is being held by the City for
Wardropper Park improvements. This funding was collected as a community contribution
associated with the rezoning of an adjacent property.
6. First Nations Property ( 2835 Departure Bay Rd)
The City confirmed that they have been in discussions with the Snuneymuxw First Nations
regarding the development of an interim landscaping plan for the property. Current plans call
for a landscaped mound (dune) to be created on the property. Vegetation is to be similar to
that employed by the City in the planters adjacent to the waterfront walkway. A public
walkway connecting to Centennial Park is to be included along the edge of the First Nations
property. The work will be carried out by the First Nation however the timing hasnít been
Dec 3, 2008
3. SUMMARY OF 2007 LOCAL ISSUES
NEIGHBOUHOOD PLAN IMPLEMENTATION
June 28, 2007 Update
As part of the Neighbourhood Plan implementation effort, the DBNA President made a presentation at the June 27 meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission. The presentation provided some general background on the Neighbourhood Plan and highlighted some of the recommendations within the Plan that are specific to Parks and Recreation. The presentation focused on the following projects (1) levelling of the existing beachfront walkway (2) improving the walkway lighting and replacing lamp standards with ornamental ones (3) carrying out a parks plan for Wardropper Park and (4) in the longer term, development of an overall plan for the best use of the public lands along the beach front.
The results of the meeting were as follows: (1)The Commission voted to have staff look at the first two projects (walkway upgrades) in more detail so they can be considered for funding in the 2008 budgetting process.(2) In the coming months, Parks staff are prepared to begin community consultation on a Wardropper Park Plan.(3) No action was taken regarding develpment of a long term beachfront plan.
Rezoning APPLICATION, 2937 Departure Bay Rd
The property at the corner of Departure Bay Road and Bay Street is currently under a rezoning request for conversion from a Single Family Residential property to Multi-Family Residential. The owner wishes to construct a 9-unit condominium on the site. The City of Nanaimo Planning Department (Jason Carvalho, 754-4251) can be contacted regarding most recent details and drawings.
To date, members of the Executive have provided input to the City, the developer and architect outlining our areas of concern. These include 1) view impacts from adjacent homes 2) size of the proposed building in relation to the size of the lot 3) traffic and parking concerns 3) archaeological and environmental issues 4) Neighbourhood plan Considerations and 5) need for a Community contribution.
Negotiations are continuing with the property owner with the main area of contention being the potential impact of the development on views from adjacent properties. As a compromise that would see the development go ahead, the Association and nearby property owners have provided the owner with the solution of redesigning the southern portion of the building to minimize view impacts. So far he has not accepted this option.
A formal rezoning public hearing will be required involving the Mayor and City Council. As of June 10, 2007 the date and location for this meeting had not been set.
July 11, 2007
At the July 9 Council meeting, City staff presented a report in support of the requested rezoning.The staff report was supported by a presentation by the applicant's architect.
Two nearby residents, who are members of the Neighbourhood Association, made presentations, expressing opposition to the current building design on the basis of view impacts and impacts on the adjacent Wardropper Park.
The Neighbourhood Association also made a presentation requesting that the public hearing date be scheduled for September, rather than the next scheduled hearing date ( August 2), to avoid conflicts with summer vacation plans.
Council gave first and second reading to the rezoning bylaw, which authorizes staff to advance the application to the formal public hearing stage. The meeting is to be held on September 6. Council will make a final decision on the application following the public hearing.
At the September 6 Public hearing, the Neighbourhood Association opposed the rezoning on the following grounds (1) conflict with the intent of the Neighbourhood Plan (2) the unusual type of zoning classification being requested ( Comprehensive development zone) and (3) the Association and neighbours had proposed what we felt was a win-win compromize solution that the applicant rejected and the City ignored.
At the September 10 Council meeting, Council approved the rezoning application. Councillor Sherry was the only one who supported the postion put forward by the Association. and opposed the rezoning. Mayor Korpan and councillors Holdom, Brennan, McNabb, Manhas, Cameron, and Unger voted in favour of the rezoning while Councillor Bestwick obstained from voting.
The Execitive will be following up with a letter to Council expressing our disappointment that City staff and Council ignored the solution put forward by the Association and neighbours that would have allowed the development to go ahead while being sensitive to the needs of the immediate neighbours.
CENTENNIAL PARK LACROSSE BOX
In April 2007 the City of Nanaimo, Parks, Recreation and Culture held an open house to discuss the future of the outdoor Lacrosse Box at Centennial Park. City concerns surrounded the potential high cost to repair the aging structure ($80,000) and the limited use it currently enjoys.
Other options for the site, put forward by City staff include 1) improved landscaping of the area; 2) remedial work along the adjacent Departure Creek; 3) the provision of some alternate youth related activities, such as a beach volleyball area; 4) conversion of one of the nearby tennis courts to become a multi use court for basketball, hockey etc.
The Executive of the Departure Bay Neighbourhood Association has not objected to the removal of the Lacrosse box, provided alternate arrangements are made for those currently using the facility. The provision of an alternate multi-use court area should achieve this. In addition, the recently complete Neighbourhood planning process identified the need for more youth related activities in the area. With this in mind, the Executive have also recommended that serious consideration be given to encouraging additional youth sporting activities in the area. Beach volleyball courts are seen as a one possible low cost means of providing such an activity. This would also be compatible with the nearby beach and water park environment.
A report and recommendations from City staff is expected to go forward to the Parks and Recreation Commission in early summer 2007.
Council approval was obtained for removal of the lacrosse box and modification of the existing tennis courts to include a general purpose hard surface( conversion of one of the three existing tennis courts to a general purpose court). This work is slated to be carried out in September 2007. In the longer term further discussions are expected between the community and parks and rec. on furture use of the lacrosse box site.
CONDOMINUM DEVELOPMENT, 2855 DEPARTURE BAY ROAD
This property consists of the undeveloped gravel lot directly across the road from Departure Bay beach. The area has been zoned commercial for a number of years. In 2005 the owner put forward an initial application to construct a mixed-use commercial/ multi family residential facility on the site. The Neighbourhood Association objected to the original proposal based on the large number of variances that would be required from existing bylaws.
The revised development that was ultimately approved by City Council involves a three-storey structure with ground floor commercial and parking. A total of fourteen condominium units are provided for on the upper two floors.
As of June 2007 construction has not started. The latest update from the developer suggests that a building permit from the City will likely be issued in late June with construction possibly beginning in July. A sales office will be placed on site in late June or July of 2007.
Condominium development has been put on hold due to the discovery of extensive First Nations artifacts on the site.
2007 ROADWORKS AND UNDERGROUND UTILITY UPGRADES
During the Spring of 2007 significant reconstruction of Departure Bay Road between Loat Street and Bay Street will be undertaken by the City. The work will include replacement of underground utilities, provision of a left turn slot at Bay Street, sidewalks on the west side of Departure Bay Road from Loat to Bay, and additional landscaping and traffic calming nodes at cross walk locations. This work is scheduled for completion in late June of 2007.
Along with the roadwork noted above, City crews will also be upgrading and replacing water mains throughout the Departure Bay area. Work will mainly take place on Loat Street, Elk Street, Fairbanks Street and Fandell Street. Work is scheduled to extend over several months during the summer of 2007 with completion expected in mid August.
NANAIMO OFFICIAL COMMUNITY PLAN REVIEW
Over the past several months the City has been undertaking a ten year review of the Official Community Plan ( Plan Nanaimo). As part of that work , in August , 2007 a Working Paper was completed,outlining and explaining potential changes to the plan. This Paper and a questionnaire soliciting community feedback can be accessed at the city web site ( you can access it from our Links page). One interesting change involves a name change- from Plan Nanaimo to sustainNanaimo.
WARDROPPER PARK UPGRADES
Parks and Recreation will be undertaking improvments to the existing walking trails through Wardropper Park (between Bay Street and Departure Bay Rd) during late October 2007. The work will consist of widening and gravelling the existing trails to bring them up to minimum City standards. The work should take about one to two weeks to complete. Over the coming months City staff will be monitoring useage of the trails to deterimine whether further upgrading is warranted.
Community imput regarding development of an overall parks plan for the area was originally scheduled for the fall of 2007. The City has now deferred this until the spring of 2008.
FIRST NATIONS GATEWAY, KIN PARK
In early 2008, the Snuneymuxw First Nation in partnership with the City will be erecting a "gateway" structure near the Kin Hut. Design of the structure is not yet complete ( November 2007) however, it is anticipated that it will consist of 2 large wooden posts with a carved wooden cross member. The structure is intended to be a symbolic gateway to the ancient First Nations village that previously occupied Departure Bay beach. An artists rendition of the village site may also form part of the gateway. Funding for the project will be provided through the Cultural Capital Grant that was provided to the City by the Federal Government in 2007.
For more information on the Gateway contact Chris Sholberg, Community and Heritage Planner at the City of Nanaimo.
HAMMOND BAY ROAD IMPROVEMENTS
In December 2007 the City advised that in 2008 they will be carrying out a redesign of a short section of Hammond Bay Rd from Friar Tuck to the Departure Bay Rd intersection. The design is intended to accomodate a new left turn slot for vehicles turning left on to Friar Tuck and a raised sidewalk on the uphill side of this portion of Hammond Bay Rd. This is intended to be a start to the improvements that were identified in the Hammond Bay Rd safety an mobility study carried out a few years ago. Construction from Friar Tuck to Departure Bay Rd is expected in 2009.
PEDESTRIAN CROSSWALK AT DEPARTURE BAY ROAD AND BAY STREET
This is intended as an update to the email sent to DBNA Members on December 8, 2007.
On December 18, 2007 the City of Nanaimo Engineering Department advised that they had completed a re examination of this section of Departure Bay Road in light of comments made by the Association regarding the removal of the above noted crosswalk.
The City confirmed that they will be proceeding with the original plan to remove the existing crosswalk at the foot of Bay Street and to install an overhead flashing light at the crosswalk in front of the "Tides" property. In addition they will now be providing a sidewalk in front of the "Tides" property and curtailing the use of the street level portion of the sidewalk as a bus bay. These latter two changes are intended to make it easier for pedestrians to access the mid block crosswalk in front of the "Tides". These changes are scheduled to be implemented in early Spring of 2008.
Should you wish further information please contact Tom Kraft, City of Nanaimo Engineering at 755-4409.