CVRD Parks and Greenways Strategic Plan 2011 - 2030
To achieve these goals, the CVRD has developed a parks and greenways strategic plan for the rural Comox Valley.
Strategic plan to set priorities for next twenty years
The strategic plan sets out a long term vision for the valley’s parks and greenways system and based on this vision, provides criteria for parkland acquisition and twenty year acquisition priorities. The strategic plan also identifies possible funding mechanisms and partnerships to achieve the goals of the plan.
Citizen resource group and public consultations
A citizen’s resource group worked with CVRD parks staff to develop a draft vision, parkland acquisition criteria and a preliminary list of acquisition priorities that were presented to the public at three open houses in September 2010. Resource group members participated in the public open houses and assisted in finalizing the draft plan. The CVRD also conducted a telephone survey with residents in Baynes Sound (Area ‘A’) Lazo North (Area ‘B’) and Puntledge-Black Creek (Area ‘ C’) to receive feedback on a proposed tax to help fund the purchase of new parks and greenways and also to find out what type of new parkland residents would like the regional district to pursue. Public, local government, senior government ministries and First Nations comments on a draft plan were received between January 17 and February 28, 2011.
Rural Comox Valley parks and greenways strategic plan
The final strategic plan incorporates the many public comments received. The plan includes an implementation strategy with 26 action items. Action items identify priority areas as future parks and greenways, funding strategies, partnership opportunities, policies for ongoing park management and stewardship and mechanisms to report back to the public on achievements.
Rural Comox Valley Parks and Greenways Strategic Plan
Note: Further appendices are part of the strategic plan document.
Funding future parks and greenways
Some of the new parkland the CVRD wishes to acquire are an extension of the One Spot Trail, key foreshore sites within the Courtenay River estuary, the Royston waterfront walkway and a trail within the E&N railway right-of-way from Courtenay to Mud Bay.
Some of the areas proposed as potential new parkland can be acquired by licencing land from the province, concluding agreements with private landowners, accepting parkland contributions at time of rezoning or subdivision and through donations and bequests. Other new parkland would have to be purchased at market value. To allow strategic purchase of land when opportunities arise, the CVRD wishes to set up regular annual contributions to a parkland acquisition reserve fund.
At their January 17, 2011 meeting, the electoral areas services committee (EASC) received the draft parks and greenways strategic plan and discussed options to fund the plan. The committee gave staff the direction to diversify funding and implement a development cost charges bylaw for parks, put in place a moderate residential tax levy to build up a parkland acquisition reserve fund and explore natural areas tax exemption and other planning tools to assist in the protection of greenspace.
Between January 17 and February 28, the CVRD invited public, local government and senior government agency comments on the plan. The comments received were incorporated into the final plan. At their March 14, 2011 meeting, the electoral areas services committee passed a resolution to set the proposed parkland acquisition tax levy at $5 per $100,000 of assessed property value. The levy will be adopted together with the final budget at the March 29, 2011 regional district board meeting.
Public open houses
In September 2010, residents were invited to attend one of three open houses to provide input on the vision for the parks and greenways system including acquisition priorities and funding sources.
Below is the information that was presented at the open houses:
The CVRD thanks everyone who provided input at the public open houses. We hope we have done your ideas and vision justice in the final draft plan.
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