School district No. 46 (SD46) is considering the impacts that Gospel Rock Village development could have on nearby schools.
As part of the permitting process, the Town of Gibsons circulated a referral to SD46 and other community stakeholders, seeking responses to the development.
Trustees and staff discussed the matter at an operations committee on Feb. 27 and staff are expected to draft a referral response outlining possible impacts.
“The impact it might have would be to cause us to do some more long-range planning and shift our programming potentially to adjust for an increase in enrolment,” SD46 secretary-treasurer Nicholas Weswick told Coast Reporter.
Gibsons council adopted bylaws last October allowing the development, which would bring 360 units to the area, to move ahead.
All schools within the Gibsons area are at or near capacity, according to the committee minutes. The development falls within the catchment area of Cedar Grove Elementary, which is already at capacity and closed to cross-boundary applications.
Weswick said the development’s impact on schools “may require us to look at catchment changes or the addition of portables or other solutions that would help us address potential overcrowding of those schools,” Weswick said.
He said changing catchment areas is a “typical response when we have overcrowding.” Staff will monitor enrolment projections and initiate the public process of boundary adjustments if needed.
The committee minutes also emphasize that despite the potential impacts, “the district supports development and growth in the area.”