Taxpayers Submit Report on Powell River Ward
Following a public meeting in July to receive feedback on how the Town of Powell River should plan for its 230 acres of former industrial land and golf courses in the Townsite neighborhood, the Townsite Ratepayers Association drafted a report.
According to the report by association co-chairs Kate Dryden and Will Van Delft, the main focus of this neighborhood review is the area known as the Old Golf Course.
In an interview, Van Delft said that whatever type of activity takes place on the land, it must be carbon neutral and greenhouse gas free.
“To some extent, it removes the potential for resource development, manufacturing or heavy industry,” Van Delft said, adding that maintaining green spaces is important.
Van Delft said that to make it easier for taxpayers to visualize what could happen on townsite land, he suggested in the report that it would be great if the city hired an architect to work out options, put them on paper. and show residents what their vision would be. be for development.
“If we had something tangible to look at, we would be able to give a much better response to all the plans that are made,” said Van Delft. “We would like to see any development compatible with the uniqueness of Townsite.
He said material for the report was gleaned from meetings the taxpayer association attended. He said he had prepared a draft document from the discussions and forwarded it to members for comments. He made some changes as suggested and finalized the document.
The report said that once upon a time, as noted in previous Official Sustainability Plan (SOCP) documents, the Catalyst Plant was the main industrial complex in Powell River.
“Although it still operates in the local economy, it is certainly not significant,” the report said. “The factory, which once operated with a workforce of over 2,500 employees, is now a shadow of itself, with only one of the original 11 paper machines in operation and only around 250 employees. on the payroll.
“It is no longer a mill town. Within the timeframe of this SOCP, it is possible to predict the potential closure of this plant and to anticipate the greening of our economy to respond to the ongoing climate crisis.
Taking into account the climate
The heat events that the community experienced this summer are cause for alarm and a serious consideration for future climate events, according to the report.
“We have been warned ad nauseam of our lack of attention to the severity of climate change,” the report said. “If we are serious about planning for the next decade, we have to start dealing with our climate crisis. Our challenge is to start creating a realistic and sustainable community plan.
To begin with, there needs to be a plan to reduce the carbon footprint, a plan for zero emissions in all activities (industrial, residential, economic and recreational) and to eliminate or seriously reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the report says.
“The worst thing we can do is develop this land piecemeal, as we are doing now. We risk losing our ability to make visionary long-term plans. Perhaps a contract for a community symposium would be helpful in encouraging us to move forward in a phased manner.
“To prepare for appropriate future use of the golf course, the current employment zoning designation is not the appropriate classification zoning for the future. A conditional mixed-use designation is better suited to meet future developments. We imagine a development of integrated zones for green, residential and commercial spaces, coordinating in a new circular economy as part of a general renewal of the City.
Polluting industrial activities will no longer be taken into account, the report says, and a zero-emission green economy will be better suited to small businesses than to large infrastructure-dependent manufacturing companies.
“Business development needs to be small business focused and done in conjunction with our Townsite business area. “
Companies such as the consolidated wastewater treatment plant will have to change the planned output from secondary treatment to tertiary treatment; institutional buildings should not be allowed in this area; and the Brooks High School complex is to be limited to its current footprint, according to the report.
Due to the need for more boat storage space, a marina could be built, with conditions of public access and walkways; other suitable businesses should be water-based, such as scuba diving and kayaking sales and storage, the report says.
“You have to take into account the potential rise in sea level up to two meters,” the report said. “A cycle path built over the current contaminated shoreline would forgo high environmental clean-up costs.
“The green space development would include biking and walking trails along the shoreline and a continuation of the Willingdon Beach trail to connect to the Townsite business center. “
New residential developments are to be based on net zero building codes such as British Columbia’s energy milestone code, the report says. Townhouses and condominiums could be arranged in modules to capture views of the ocean and the Salish Sea.
“We need to conceptualize and capture the anticipated changes in the way we move. The transport of trucks and cars will change considerably. You have to imagine a townhouse or a condominium complex that does not require a large road network. The development of an extensive network of trails and cycle paths as well as a major community investment in signage are required to encourage citizens to make important decisions.