The proposed development will meet or exceed environmentally sensitive development practices and strictly adhere to conditions imposed by the City of Nanaimo to preserve and protect environmentally sensitive lands, an eagle nest tree and eagle perch trees. More than 60% of the property, including the golf course, will be green space.
By way of comparison, the proposed Oceanview Golf Resort & Spa development will be similar in size to Fairwinds Community & Resort in Nanoose, half the size of Bear Mountain Golf Resort in Langford, and larger than Crown Isle in the Comox Valley. The project will stimulate tourism and complement Downtown redevelopment. Infrastructure installation and upgrades (roads, water, sanitary sewer and stormwater disposal) costs will be paid for by the developer – there will be no cost to the City or taxpayers. It will take 12 to 15 years to complete the whole development.
- 1. What is the current zoning for the property?
The 519 acres, purchased by Cable Bay Lands Inc., of Calgary, Alberta in September 2005, consist of 417 acres (5 adjacent parcels of land) located in the south-east corner of the City of Nanaimo, and 97.3 acres (1 parcel) in the Regional District of Nanaimo (Cedar). The land within the City is zoned Rural Agricultural/Residential (A-2) with a minimum lot size of no less than 2.0 hectares (4.94 acres). In the Official Community Plan for the City of Nanaimo, the property is designated as Rural Resource Lands, and currently outside of Nanaimo’s Urban Containment Boundary; as such, the development is not eligible to receive municipal water and sewer/stormwater disposal services. The 97.3-acre parcel within the RDN is zoned Rural 4 (RU4V) with a minimum lot size of 50 hectares (123.5 acres).
- 2. What use is permitted under the City’s Rural Agricultural/Residential zoning?
Under City of Nanaimo Bylaw 4000 (8.2.1), the following usages are allowed:
Agriculture, Animal Shelter, Animal Training, Bed & Breakfast, Boarding Kennels - max. 65 dogs per lot. Boarding and Lodging, Campgrounds, Golf Courses, Horse Riding and Boarding Stables, Mobile Home, Peat and Topsoil Processing, Secondary Suite, Single Family Dwellings, Turf Farms, Wharves, Floats, and Similar Structures
- 3. How will the Cable Bay Trail be affected?
The 1,950-metre long Cable Bay Trail runs on a 20-metre wide dedicated roadright-of-way from the end of Nicola Road to Cable Bay and bisects the Cable Bay Lands Inc.’s property. The land on either side of the 20-metre wide trail is private property. The Cable Bay Trail is one of many public trails operated by the City’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Culture and, as such, the Cable Bay Trail is legally protected from development.
Other than the 150 metres described in the next bullet, the Trail will remain open to the public during development and construction of the project; however, for safety reasons and because the site is private property, hikers are required to stay within the boundaries of the Cable Bay Trail.
As approved by the City of Nanaimo, the developer will construct an enlarged, paved public parking lot and a new trailhead at the end of Nicola Road. Construction is expected to start some time in 2009.
As a result of the relocation of the trailhead, the existing Trail will begin 150 metres (492 feet) further north of its present starting point but new trails will be added, increasing the overall trail system by approximately 1,500 to 2,000 metres (4,920 – 6,560 feet) – potentially more than doubling the length of the Trail.
Land access to Joan Point Park will be improved through construction of:
- the municipal road leading to a new parking area, adjacent to Joan Point Park;
- a public footpath running from the relocated trailhead at Nicola Road along the new city road to Joan Point Park, providing a means of hiking a circuit route. The public footpath will be legally added to the inventory of City of Nanaimo trails.
- Currently Joan Point Park is legally only accessible from the water⎯hikers have to trespass on private property in order to reach the park.
The proposed development will include feeder trails that will connect to the Cable Bay Trail system. For safety reasons, signage has been installed at sections where the Cable Bay Trail intersects with on-site vehicular traffic.
- 4. Will the Cable Bay Trail be closed during site development and construction?
No. The Trail will remain open, except the first 150 metres (492 feet) at the existing trailhead that is presently located on the Nicola Road right-of-way. That portion will be permanently closed to allow for the extension of Nicola Road into the project. The existing parking area is actually situated on the road right-of-way and will be relocated off the road and to the north where a new trailhead will be located. Until such time as the new parking area and road access are opened up, a temporary trail will be provided, replacing the 150-metre section leading from the existing parking area; temporary signage will be provided.
- 5. How much green space will there be within the whole resort area?
A total of 265.46 acres − 63.5% of the site − is being set aside for green space; 121.97 acres will be reserved as park, of which 5 acres will be dedicated for community use, such as urban gardens; 143.49 acres will be taken up by the golf fairways. This green space is in addition to the Cable Bay Trail. The significant amount of green space preserved in the Cable Bay Golf Resort & Spa site will set this development apart from other competing projects.
- 6. How many dwellings/residential units are expected to be added?
Project is approved for:
2,677 housing units
- 282 Estate homes
- 294 Villas
- 226 Townhouses
- 1,064 Apartments
- 811 Vacation Suites
- 7. What does the golf architect say about the Cable Bay site?
Gary Browning says: “As responsible designers we’ve worked diligently to protect and enhance the spectacular native beauty of the property through intelligent siting, thoughtful design and careful consideration and respect for the natural environment, for the identified watershed management zones, for the riparian habitat and, of course, the famed Cable Bay Trail. Golf is a sport that encourages interaction with nature. At Cable Bay we feel we’ve designed a golf course that’s ecologically linked with the surrounding landscape in such a way that it doesn’t simply fit into the environment, it becomes the environment.”
- 8. Who is expected to buy homes in the development?
Retirees, vacationers, and people attracted to a resort lifestyle. Local residents have expressed a strong interest in wanting to move to the development because of the beautiful setting and the natural environment, and the fact that the resort lifestyle will allow them to stay active.
- 9. How long will it take before the whole project is completed?
Total development of the site will take between 12 to 15 years.
- 10. How will neighbouring properties be affected by the development?
Local properties are expected to increase in value as a result of the proposed development, and they will have the added benefit of access to all resort facilities and services. The resort residents will contribute to the local economy by making use of nearby stores and utilizing services in the area. City water and sewer servicing the site are a much preferred alternative to wells and septic fields for 132 rural residences, as allowed under existing zoning. As neighbours, a resort would be more desirable from a noise, pollution, septic field, water table, or environmental standpoint, than the alternatives of campgrounds, dog kennels, livestock operations, or logging operations.
- 11. How will the City of Nanaimo be affected in terms of increased demand for services?
The proposed development will likely attract a large contingent of retirees interested in second homes. The residents will likely be traveling, or else maintaining primary or secondary residences elsewhere. Their dwellings at Cable Bay will still generate property taxes, development cost charges and user fees for the City, but residents will consume a much smaller amount of municipal services than the average fulltime Nanaimo resident’s household.
- 12. How will the region benefit from this proposed development?
a. Taxes and other revenues: According to Urbanics Consultants Ltd.*, the proposed Cable Bay Golf Resort & Spa will generate $7-million per year in property tax revenues at completion; this is expected to amount to more than $50-million in property taxes paid to the City by 2021. Development cost charge revenues will amount to $1.3-million per year and will total $17.8-million by 2021. The City will not have to pay for infrastructure costs as all necessary on-site and off-site infrastructure upgrades, expansions or additions will be borne by the developer. Ongoing utility and municipal services costs are recouped through monthly user fees and annual taxes.
b. Jobs: Site development is expected to create 600 jobs. On-going full- and part-time managerial and service jobs are expected to number 500, averaging $46,000 per person, per year. A further 465 full- and part-time jobs averaging $30,000 per person, per year are expected to be created as a result of retail, commercial operations, golf course operation, hotel and spa management, seniors assisted living, recreational services, management and maintenance of public grounds and strata-controlled common areas. The resort will also be a source of part-time summer and winter jobs for local young people.
c. Balanced urban growth pattern: Locating in south Nanaimo will provide more balanced growth because, until now, most urban growth has been skewed towards North Nanaimo.
d. Tourism: As a result of heightened international security concerns, leisure travel has shifted to more domestic trips. The proposed Cable Bay Golf Resort & Spa will bolster the Nanaimo tourism ‘brand’ and, as a premier destination resort, will have a positive impact on the conference centre and cruise ship market, and tourism in general.