SCRD Directors debated whether to move forward with a public hearing for BC Ferries rezoning application for the Langdale ferry terminal at the Jan. 11 meeting of the planning and community development committee.
Area D Director Mark Lebbell expressed concern that the board has not yet seen a draft terminal development plan. “I’m having trouble with the lack of specifics in what’s coming to the board and what’s coming to the public,” said Lebbell.
Area F Director, Ian Winn, also expressed concern, noting that the public “just sees this as a public hearing” and doesn’t understand that the hearing is only for the property re-zoning, not for a broader discussion of plans for the ferry terminal. Many of the concerns raised at the first information meeting in October, such as medical priority boarding, insufficient parking, and giving preference to local vendors rather than chains, lie outside the scope of the SCRD zoning process.
In response to questions from the board, senior planner David Rafael said that a more detailed terminal development plan is not expected until spring or early summer, and that the rezoning is needed first, because “the bylaw helps set the groundwork for the terminal development plan by setting certain broad limitations in terms of building size and mix of uses.”
He also noted that BC Ferries would like the bylaw to move forward “as quickly as possible.”
Lebbell agreed that “it is in the public interest to keep the process moving forward efficiently,” but added: “I don’t want to hang things up unnecessarily but I also don’t want to be making incomplete decisions.”
The SCRD staff report noted that since the public information meeting (held on Oct. 26), BC Ferries has confirmed that they plan to build their new terminal building near the site of the current bus stop. BCF also asked to remove staff accommodation as a permitted use of
The report recommended that the SCRD negotiate an agreement with BC Ferries about access to the Langdale well, which is underneath the terminal’s upper parking lot.
After discussion, the board voted in favour of staff’s recommendation to give second reading to the bylaw and schedule a public hearing on Feb. 21, 7 pm, at Eric Cardinall Hall.
Following the vote, Director Lebbell put forward a motion “that staff work with BC Ferries to maximize the level of information with regards to the terminal development plan available throughout the review process.” This also passed.
The bylaw will go back to the board for third reading after the public hearing.