Sechelt Briefs: Acorn subdivision to public hearing

After a lengthy back-and-forth, Sechelt council voted Sept. 18 to send a subdivision proposal for a lot on Acorn Road in West Sechelt to public hearing.

The debate at the council table wasn’t focused on the merits of the four-lot project itself, but on what the district would be asking of the developer if the subdivision gets approved.

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The recommendations from planning staff were to have the applicant provide a $150,000 security to cover the cost of potential future paving of Acorn Road from Gowland Road to the western edge of the property, a “cash contribution in an amount to be determined for the affordable housing fund,” and a “cash contribution in an amount to be determined for the downtown revitalization fund.”

Coun. Tom Lamb argued that the cash contributions would be too onerous for a four-lot rural subdivision and might even run counter to affordable housing goals by driving up the cost of lots.

In the end council passed first reading of the zoning and OCP bylaws with no requirement for the $150,000 to cover future cost of a paved road, but with the affordable housing contribution language in place (Mayor Darnelda Siegers opposed) as well as the language around the downtown revitalization fund (councillors Lamb, Eric Scott and Janice Kuester opposed).

A date for the public hearing has not been set.

Community Forest

The Sunshine Coast Community Forest didn’t harvest much timber in the second quarter of 2019, but a report presented to Sechelt council Sept. 18 said it hopes to start harvesting its next cutblocks before the year is out.

The logging is on hold pending approval of a five-year Forest Stewardship Plan, which the Community Forest board said has been delayed as a result of the new Joint Decision Making Protocol between the shíshálh Nation and the province.

The Community Forest’s second quarter update said it sold nine cubic metres of the 114 cubic metres it harvested “as a result of a boundary issue on our tenure” for revenue of $1,043 in the quarter.

Overall the Community Forest’s operating arm, Sechelt Community Projects Inc., posted a six-month net loss for the beginning of 2019 of $199,813 after taking into account investment and other income of $32,597 and $15,250 in court-ordered legal costs recovered from the local group Elphinstone Logging Focus.

It also spent $93,030 on community initiatives, which was more than forecast because of the board’s decision to donate a structural protection unit to the Sechelt Fire Department, which cost $91,000 including $10,000 to pay to have firefighters trained on the equipment.

SCPI finished the first half of the year with retained earnings of $1,493,133.

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