Archive promotional image from 3L Developments Inc.
3L Developments prefers to sell Riverwood land but vows to log it and extract gravel
The current spokesperson for the 3L Developments Inc. company told the Comox Valley Regional District today that “the future of the lands” is in their hands.
The spokesperson, Rob Buchan, said the company will proceed to log the property and open it up to a gravel extraction operation unless the regional district purchases the property.
The four parcels of the property have a 2020 assessed value of $4.222 million.
Buchan referred to the nearly 500 acres of land in the Puntledge Triangle — four large parcels between the Puntledge and Browns rivers — that 3L wants to subdivide into 799 housing units.
Last week, the Electoral Areas Services Commission (EASC) of the regional district rejected the company’s request to amend the Regional Growth Strategy and rezone the property for a dense subdivision. Under current zoning, the company can only subdivide 50-acre parcels.
The EASC took their vote again in front of the full regional district board today and confirmed their rejection of 3L’s application to amend the RGS and also to direct staff to work with the company to restore public access to Stotan Falls.
Area C Director Edwin Grieve changed his vote. At last week’s EASC meeting, he voted against a motion to reject the 3L application. At today’s full board meeting, he voted in favour of rejecting 3L.
“The owner (David Dutcyvich) would prefer that the CVRD buy the lands,” Buchan said. But added that the company would proceed to the best use of the property under current zoning, which is to log and extract gravel.
No purchase price was mentioned.
Comox Director Ken Grant asked Buchan if some “middle ground” was possible.
“I’d like to say yes,” Buchan said. “But export log prices are at an all-time high, so there’s a small amount of time.”
Area C Director Edwin Grieve asked if the company had approached the City of Courtenay about annexing a portion of the property where they could develop a subdivision.
“Yes, we approached Courtenay about nine months ago,” Buchan said. “There was no appetite for annexation at the time. It’s unfortunate.”
Courtenay Director Wendy Morin wondered if there were enough high-quality gravel and timber on the land to justify logging, especially because of the riparian zones required along the river.
Buchan said he believed there was a “considerable sum of fir and cedar” trees to log and that the company had an offer from a gravel operator to buy the property earlier this year.
Morin said she was skeptical about the volume of resources and questioned whether Buchan’s information was accurate.
Regional directors also agreed to hear a presentation from Kathleen Pitt, who spoke before Buchan. She said there were only three options for the regional district: Rezone it (“in a perfect world”), buy it or stand by and watch it logged.
By not rezoning or buying the land, she said directors were “choosing” to have it logged and mined for gravel.
Courtenay Director Doug Hillian asked if Pitt was a Comox Valley resident because she gave no information about herself. But Pitt declined to answer any questions from directors.
WHAT IS THE ASSESSED VALUE?
If the Comox Valley Regional District pursued the purchase of the land, what price would they pay?
3L Developments has never floated a purchase price publicly and Decafnation has not been able to find public records of the price the company paid for the land in 2007.
But the assessed value of the property is public knowledge.
According to the BC Assessment office, the total 2020 assessed value of the four properties owned by 3L Developments that comprise the proposed Riverwood subdivision is $4,222,000. That represents a decline over 2019 assessed values by about $424,000.
The smallest of the four properties was the only one to increase in value while the three largest all dropped between five and 16 percent.
The largest 185-acre parcel (PID: 028-915-194) dropped from $1.642 million to $1.375 million or about 16 percent, roughly $267,000.
A 158 acre parcel (PID: 000-866-814) went down from $1.613 million to $1.411 million or about 12 percent, roughly $202,000.
The 118 acre parcel (PID: 003-922-308) fell from $563,000 to $534,000 or about five percent and roughly $29,000.
The smallest parcel of 33 acres (PID: 000-866-792) increased in assessed value from $828,000 in 2019 to $902,000 in 2020, about a nine percent jump or roughly $74,000.
There was no information on the BC Assessment website about how much 3L Developments Inc. paid for the four parcels in 2007. The website only shows last sale price information if the properties were sold within the previous three years.
This article has been updated Nov. 25 to clarify that only Electoral Areas Services Commission members voted on the 3L application and that Director Grieve changed his vote to support rejection.
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER
On Merville groundwater extraction it’s deja vu all over again
Regional district staff recommend approving an amended application for groundwater extraction in Merville as a “home occupation,” but rural area directors want more clarity on its legal definition
Merville water bottling issue returns to the CVRD, highlights provincial water policies
The Comox Valley Electoral Areas Service Commission will consider on Monday an amended application for water bottling operations in Merville and draw attention to larger water policy issues in British Columbia
The Week: Ken Grant fined by Elections BC and Parksville confronted by development, water issues
Another Comox Councillor was fined by Elections BC for violating BC elections laws, plus Parksville’s water supply is unable to meet provincial requirements for summer water flow in the Englishman River let alone provide water for a proposed 800-unit development
Courtenay Council announces its regional district line-up and other appointments
Courtenay City Council’s annual appointments announced after a short delay
The Week: Comox, Cumberland appointments pass, but no word on Courtenay … yet
Cumberland and Comox municipal councils approve their mayor’s annual appointments, but Courtenay was a no show at its inaugural meeting. Is there conflict behind the scenes?
No fireworks as Comox Council approves mayors’ appointments
The newly-elected and the recently re-elected members of the Comox Council were all on the same page at its inaugural meeting this week and confirmed first-time Mayor Nicole Minions’ appointments to the regional board
The Week: Valley councils begin new terms, but will Comox ignore voters?
Dr. Jonathan Kerr topped the polls with voters, but will that resonate at the Comox Town Council as it is poised to approve new Mayor Nicole Minions’ appointments and assignments?
Comox Valley local government elections ramping up for Oct. 15 vote
Comox Valley voters will elect new councilors, mayors, regional district representatives, school board members and Island Trust reps on Oct. 15. Find out who’s running for what … and why. Decafnation returns to shine more light on local government issues and candidates
Blowing smoke: Campaign to overturn wood stove bylaws called misleading, ineffective
The woodstove industry has launched a campaign to overturn restrictive bylaws in the Comox Valley, but local government leaders say they are unmoved and a new study suggests woodstove testing is fatally flawed.
CV Regional District adopts a statement of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples
The Comox Valley Regional District has formally recognized its commitment to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples in a statement adopted by the board last week
The elausmosor, Elasmosaurus is a genus of plesiosaur that lived in North America during the Campanian stage of the Late Cretaceous period, about 80.5 million years ago. Wikipedia. An almost intact one was extracted from the area in question. It was a significant find as there are only a few that have been recovered.
The river and nearby area also offers up ammonite specimens.
How we got to the point of talking about using this area for gravel extraction and cutting down trees along the river is inexplicable to me. Certainly it has nothing to nothing with preserving the fossils that lie below and the previous areas where First Nations tribes collected abundant seafood and lived. Money has little to do with the real value of things.
Again people miss the important points.
a. This area is home to a regionally unique botanical fossil deposits. The Liberals before them and the NDP failed to enact a strong “Fossil ACT” such as is found in Alberta. In BC this falls under a cobbling of regulations under the “Heritage Protection ACT’. If you want to know how “heritage” is protected in BC – go ask Mack Laing how trusts and heritage are protected by the NDP. To talk of gravel pits is just obscene. There is no real fossil protection in BC, if there were Site C would have been brought to a standstill.
b. If a proper Riparian Areas Regulation survey were carried out, and DFO enforced its own rules, most of the riparian areas lie below the cliff edge and between 15- 30m back from the cliff edge. That means that the areas of timber interest in these properties are technically easily legally protectable.
C. To this day I do not understand how some of this land is controversial, but the Union Bay properties, which are on a prime archaeological Pentlatch site, and are waterfront, can be developed at a time when we talk about concerns with climate change and sea level rises?
The whole thing has a really bad politically-driven smell.