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Gibsons defers two controversial issues – Glassford and Stonehurst – at committee

Stonehurst discussion delayed to Mar 30; Glassford closure review moved to Apr. 19
N. Glassford
Glassford Road in Gibsons has been closed to vehicles as part of a traffic calming project.

There's been a lot of talk in Gibsons about Glassford Road and the Stonehurst property, but no decisions have been made – yet. 

Although there were three items on the March 15 Gibsons committee of the whole agenda, none of them saw recommendations made as to next steps.

“This is too big of a conversation for this narrow window,” Coun. Aleria Ladwig said as she called for and the committee supported deferral of Glassford Road closure discussions. Temporary road barricades on Glassford at its connection with Gower Point Road were put in place in July 2021 to help calm traffic on that route. They will remain there until their future is debated at the April 19 committee meeting.

The agenda contained 113 pages of documentation about the Glassford closure. Included was a report and recommendation from the Town’s director of engineering that council wait to make a decision until after the mid-May adoption of the updated five-year capital plan so that it can assess how much money it can commit to traffic calming measures in the area.

Also recommended was tree planting along Glassford, repaving of adjacent Dogwood Lane, and installation of "knock-down” barricades at the closure point to allow for emergency vehicle access.

In addition, the Town's director of engineering suggested communication with area residents clarifying that the creation of a residential lot in the area and the closure are separate issues.

“My opinion is that the present road closure is doing what we want it to do,” director Dave Newman wrote. “We have a low-cost solution to lowering traffic on Glassford. Other projects to look at are should we spend more on Glassford for pedestrians and cyclists.” Newman suggested this could be done by working with the developer to reconfigure the closed intersection, moving it further away from the nearby connection of Gower Point and Franklin Roads.

It was noted that when sewer lines for new lots in the area are installed, the developer will be required to pay for road repaving and the Town could partner to do additional road improvements in conjunction with that work, including the addition of sidewalks.

Newman also recommended that shoulder improvements for pedestrian safety along Gower Point Road should be put in place in “the short term.”

Two members of the public commented on the committee’s decisions at the close of the meeting. Mark Evans asked that staff reconsider turning Glassford into an over 500-meter long cul de sac. He said that exceeds the maximum cul de sac length in Town bylaw 1175 and Transportation Association of Canada standards. His suggestion was to follow traffic calming practices used on Shaw Road, which he said would be “an ideal model for Glassford Road." 

Resident Dennise Dombroski asked that the Town correct statements made on its website regarding the linkage of the Glassford closure and the creation of the new lot in the area.

Meeting chair Coun. David Croal asked for removal of a meeting agenda item related to the redevelopment proposal for the Stonehurst property on School Road at the meeting’s opening. As Mayor Bill Beamish was not in attendance, committee members agreed that that discussion be delayed until a meeting on March 30. Representatives of the development proponent had indicated they could also attend on the new date.

The remaining agenda item was the discussion of the 2022-2026 capital plan. While no recommendations were made, committee members asked that staff pared down the 50 proposed 2022 projects to a more realistic number that could be completed during the year. The committee members identified what they supported as priority projects and an updated listing will be presented at a future committee meeting.