Nanaimo needs a bylaw to regulate abandoned buildings

By Ron Bolin

Sept. 3, 2017

The District of West Kelowna has a bylaw for dealing with vacant and abandoned buildings such as the old A&B Sound building at 1 Commercial Street, which is debatably the centre of downtown Nanaimo and is impossible for those transiting through Nanaimo proper to miss. I have written elsewhere about this property and its deleterious effect on our downtown, (see Note 4 at https://nanaimocityhall.com/2017/07/13/nanaimo-notes/)

observing that this building not only is, and has been for a number of years, derelict at some serious cost to downtown amenities while remaining at very little cost to the owners who last year paid approximately $124 for keeping the derelict structure which was assessed at $20,000 and taxed on only $10,000 due to the general grant given to all commercial property. Thus the improvements on this central property represent only 5.6% of the land value and the taxes paid on it represent only 2.8% of that value. A call to BC Assessment indicated that the assessed value of the building was based on the rat infestation as well as the fact that the building could not be occupied without extensive remediation. It will be noted that the building fails on a several points in West Kelowna’s bylaw… 

Why does Nanaimo not have a similar bylaw??

Section 4 of West Kelowna’s bylaw 0192 reads as follows:

“4.1 No person shall allow a building to stand vacant and abandoned for more than 30 days unless the person is in compliance with Section 3.3 of this Bylaw or one of the following applies:
a) The building is the subject of an active building permit for repair, rehabilitation, or demolition, and the owner is progressing diligently to complete the repair, rehabilitation, or demolition; and, the owner is complying with the Maintenance Standards required under Schedule “B” of this Bylaw while the building is being repaired, rehabilitated or demolished.
b) The building meets all applicable codes, is ready for occupancy and is actively
being offered for sale, lease, or rent at fair market value. The building is to be
supplied with minimum utilities to maintain the proper functioning of the facilities as well as to prevent damage to mechanical and plumbing facilities from freezing. Any buildings that are classified to have a fire alarm and/or fire suppression systems must maintain electrical and heating systems to maintain these life safety components. In addition, the owner must also ensure:
i) that all combustible materials within a vacant and abandoned building are removed to reduce any potential fire load; and
ii) there is no illegal occupancy; and
iii) there is no existence of rodents or any other potential health or safety risks to the municipality.
c) The Inspector determines that the building does not constitute a nuisance or
hazardous condition requiring building permits for remedial work or demolition. ‘

If you feel that Nanaimo is being short changed, contact Nanaimo’s administration. This situation has gone on long enough.

Comments on city council's continuing saga

0808
Ted Campbell City councils and school boards are the "learning grounds" for future politicians, that's where skin either gets thick or people walk away.
LikeShow more reactions
 
Ron Bolin Politicians at other levels work in Parties. Parties have their problems, but their lack leads to missing out on organized guidance and experience which can sustain individuals through their terms. Otherwise they operate with no known play book and begin to believe in their own righteous infallibility or by one put out by an invisible clique. I have been told by one long time Councillor that the public elected people so that they didn't have to think about issues. Without a clear idea of the bedrock behind that statement, and public organizations to remind them of it, -not only at election time but between elections-, a Council can end up spending more time on personalities than on the policy and procedure with which they have been entrusted.

Another chapter in the Lantzville water discussion

By Lance Geselbracht

0726 - The former Mayor tries to brush off my comments as amateurish and irresponsible. I would assign those descriptions to the people who did not read the multitude of reports from registered professionals Lantzville hired to study the Harby Rd. aquifer.

He listed some hydrologist/engineering firms and suggested they recommended no new connections. That is complete nonsense!  These firms, and the ones I list below, simply gave estimates of the water available from the aquifer. Only two firms in 30 years have discussed water connections in a formal report to the district; Chatwin in 1984/1986 reports and the very recent 2015/2016 reports by Koers. The approximate 10 other firms (incl. Chatwin) who were retained by Lantzville over a 30 year period merely discussed their finding relative to drilling new wells, pump testing wells and recommending maintenance items for the well field.

Here are some of the other engineers who have prepared reports for Lantzville and their estimate of groundwater production from the five wells (4,5,6,9&12) used in Harby Rd.  Flowrate for Well #3 is not included as that artesian well was retired.

1982 Brown, Erdman and Associates, 2814 cm³/day  (wells 4,5,6 only)

1988 Pacific Hydrology  2134 cm³/day  *(wells 4,5,6)

1988 Chatwin 2945 cm³/da (wells 4,5,6,&9)

1996 Chatwin  3,048 cm³/day (wells 4,5,6,9&12)

2002 EBA 3,194 cm³/day (wells 4,5,6,9&12)

2014/2017 Lowen Consulting 3,103 cm³/day (wells 4,5,6,9&12)

I have relied on the preponderance of evidence to justify my comments of how much water the Harby Rd aquifer can produce. These numbers don’t show the approximate 650 cm³/day nearby well #11 could add. 

Lantzville could easily drill a new well, 15 meters from #11 back onto their property, to capture the groundwater represented by this well. These numbers have been reduced by 30% as a “factor of safety”.  I believe the current Council and staff now finally believes how much water the Harby Rd. aquifer can produce; it only took 30 years, 10 different consulting firms and some long overdue maintenance.

The problem is the outdated, unjustified connections standard arbitrarily established in 1984 that was just “borrowed” from the Bonnel Creek study.  There were no good records on water use in the District as that time. Since then, we now have 20 years of accurate water use by meter for each connection.

This is where the “Big Lie” has been justified for so many years and why Lantzville has denied water connections why knowing all along there is plenty of groundwater for everyone.

You don’t need to be Einstein, an engineer or supposed groundwater expert, just an understanding of third grade math to verify Lantzville has capacity right now for over 500 new connections. 3,103 cm³/day minus **1,241 (Lantzville’s highest recorded day ever for the current 885 connections, see below) equals 1,862 cm³/day of excess capacity. That simple!!!  That works out to 1.4 cm³/day per connection versus the current standard of 3.4 cm³/day being used.  If you ignore all the simple, hard data, you can continue with the “Big Lie”. 

“But what if something happens ?”  That something was never identified in the most recent engineering reports, but here are your Safety Valves to ensure uninterrupted water supply:

Drill new well near #11

New reservoir being built for Lantzville Foothills, this storage can be used in calculations to meet maximum day flow.

Foothills' new wells are the additional source of water supply as for by Lantzville’s engineers (May 25, 2016 report)

Stage II thru IV water restrictions can ensure there is ample water for all domestic needs during dry months.

Nanaimo water agreement is in place, pipe is in place. This can be the final emergency measure.

Council recently voted on a motion to reduce the connection standard to 2.5 cm³/day; it was defeated by a 4-3 vote.  I don’t know what additional information the 4 counselors need, but would be happy to “walk” council through the numbers.  In the meantime, people who have been waiting 20 years for a connection will continue to wait as the “Big Lie” plays itself out.

* This production number was reduced to accommodate interference estimated if Well #11 was simultaneously pumped. The actual effect of Well #11 was verified in subsequent pump tests.
** There was one higher day than this number but it occurred during pump testing of the Harby Rd. aquifer and needs to be discounted.

 

De Jong responds to Haime on Lantsville water deal

When the Mayor of Lantzville expresses an opinion as a private citizen it always carries the weight and influence of his office.

I am sympathetic to Colin Haime. In the face of unsubscribed professional inputs ranging from the ambiguous to thought provoking, the decision making process often gets side-tracked or worse surrendered. The inputs may be qualified, and sometimes persuasive, nevertheless, they should only be considered in the broader context of previous official studies. A kitchen table discussion without documentation and the benefit of professional scrutiny is at best amateurish and at worst irresponsible.

It is a matter of record, based on many professional engineering and hydrologist reports tendered and funded by the District, that water conservation and vigilance was essential. No new connections were recommended and none were given over an extended period. The following organization, were at various stages engaged by the District.

·       Turner Groundwater resources

·       Pacific Hydrology consultants

·       Agra Earth and Environmental Limited

·       Frontier Geosciences Ltd

·       Enterprise Geoscience Services (engaged by Foothills)

 There was obviously no deluge of water and there were no distortion of facts. It was on the basis of these reports and Lantzville’s OCP objectives that a Nanaimo Lantzville water agreement was negotiated and approved by the 2014  Lantzville council. I would note that under the legislation councils are continuous in terms of approved contracts and agreements.

In spite of some understandable opposition, I considered Nanaimo council and staff reasonable and I am certain they would have entertained changes as experience with the agreement was developed. Arguably, the Mayor closed many doors when chose to negotiate his proposed modifications publically, and through the media. 

With the benefit of a Nanaimo pipeline the picture has changed and the risk factor of a water shortage is considerably reduced. Mr. Haime predicts this will allow an additional 200 users to be connected to the existing utility. This is an excellent first step but as good as it sounds this is hardly the stuff of a permanent solution and leaves many parts of the community with little hope for a connection. It suffices to say once these hookups are allocated the Lantzville water utility will find itself in exactly the same shortage predicament.

I believe we have a responsible council majority and the moratorium is temporary.  Lantzville will in the near future complete the transaction.  Nanaimo, although having made a considerable commitment derives little benefit at this time. Certainly funding for the Port Theatre, which was part of the water agreement should be continued. As a measure of good faith, Lantzville council should increase the amount in line with Nanaimo’s per capita allocations. 

Finally I quote the Mayor in his own words to reflect how much value he placed on resolving the water issue; in the Nanaimo Daily News Nov 2011 

“He said incoming mayor de Jong will now be meeting the same people and roadblocks he has had to contend with and told him to "not screw it up" when it came to striking a deal with Nanaimo and other sources of water.”

Jack de Jong

Part II – Facts don't back up the need for Nanaimo water

Colin Haime

By Colin Haime,

This is written as a citizen of Lantzville and not representing municipal council.

As mentioned previously there are a couple of interesting posts on Lantzville Water lately. I addressed some of the fiction previously and today I will address some of the Fact.

Fact – Lance Geselbracht’s take on operational aspects of water.

Through a redrilling of one well and a redevelopment of others Lantzville apparently now has access to an additional water equal to 205 connections using the existing standards. I say apparently because it is based on a well pump test and not based on actual longer term draw. I voted against the dropping of standards until such time as the additional supply is tested under operating conditions as recommended by our engineers.

 Well 11- We do not own it, period. Might access be negotiated due to rezoning etc? Possibly, however it depends on the demands made.

Recent well clusters drilled - Again we do not own the land.

Yes, the Jack de Jong Council had access to reports indicating local water was in fact available. While I was not Mayor,  Lance Geselbracht and I discussed the reports and this indicated to me that the need for Nanaimo water was not as previously represented by the experts. This was one of the reasons I opposed the Nanaimo signing.

Through an FOI request I have a staff memo from de Jong’s time where staff openly discuss both the additional water that is available in the aquifer and that the water standards can be reduced. I do not believe that this information was ever publicized nor given to Nanaimo.

Re: Misinformation - Another reason why I voted to not reduce standards at this time. Engineers previously said we had water (pre 1995), then engineers said we did not have enough water (1995), then experts raised concerns about water levels dropping due to climate change, now engineers, including Geselbracht are saying we have copious amounts of water. I am an accountant, not an engineer, but I will not blindly accept what is stated now. I have no agenda, I believe in taking planned incremental steps that get the job done but protect the residents.

 Why would DOL pay 3 times as much for Nanaimo water rather than pump its own?  I have had the same question since 2009. This question is deJong’s to answer.

Reality – Lantzville is stuck with the flawed water agreement signed and promoted by de Jong’s council. It does not provide security for all Lantzville residents as promoted, it provides advantages to developers at the expense of existing residents and is flawed both operationally and financially in my opinion. Nanaimo refuses to respond to our request for amendments which is understandable under the circumstances by which this was approved, in my opinion.

Due to the significant flaws in the agreement we need a Water Plan that addresses and mitigates the operational and financial flaws to the best of our abilities. The plan is in progress and the draft is supposed to be out shortly.  Could we just add new connections now?  According to the Director of Public Works the other night, yes. However they need to be allocated properly, recognizing need and financial limitations.

The standard proposed by Coun.Colclough is below Nanaimo’s standard. By agreeing to this standard we could be in violation of the Nanaimo water agreement immediately. (Para 8.2 requires Lantzville operational measures to be consistent with measures within Nanaimo).  Reinforces the need for a plan when Coun. Colclough and others build a pipe to Nanaimo under the guise of a backup source and then vote for measures that eliminate its potential use as a backup.

Future? – My hope is that the Water Master Plan will provide the detail and guidance on how to proceed with adequate safeguards in place where the community does not have to sacrifice it’s very nature to developers. I have never been against development but if development destroys the qualitative aspects that make our community what it is, then it is not our community. It is just another suburb of Nanaimo and if that is fact then. . . 

 I will let someone else finish that sentence.

 

We're walking on eggshells in provincial politics

I much admire and respect those who give of their time and precious family life to get elected and serve in public office.

In most instances dedication and darn hard work.

I've always been quite absorbed by politics. This time around BC politics are ultra-absorbing! 

Think for a moment. During the election campaign many candidates conveyed the impression that they could somehow 'walk on water.'  When it was over, half of those elected were 'walking on air'. Circumstance has it that in the next weeks and months every last one is going to be walking on eggshells!  Absorbing? You betcha!   

Graeme Roberts

 

 

Fact and fiction surround Lantzville water negotiations

Colin Haime

By Colin Haime
I am writing this as a citizen of Lantzville and not representing municipal council.

Part 1- Lantzville Water

There have been a couple of interesting posts on Lantzville Water lately. Some fiction and some fact. I want to address some of the Fiction. 

Fiction

Jack de Jong’s take on history.

1) “Mayor Colin Haime had always sought and supported a Nanaimo water resolution”. -Fiction

 I opposed the Nanaimo connection. I did my job in carrying out what I was instructed to do by Council. I favoured a solution based on potential well options at about 1/3 the cost ($6 million vs $20 Million) but the Council of the day voted against this. In my opinion the decision and information at the time was so flawed that I considered resigning as Mayor rather than publicly supporting it.

2) 20 years of negotiations- Fiction

Negotiations with Nanaimo started in 2005 not 20 years ago. 6 years with myself as Mayor and 3 with Jack.

3)    “Not much to go on other than an MOU”? -Fiction

 Up to 2011 there were a variety of detailed minutes, staff reports, consultants reports etc produced which culminated in a draft water agreement that was received by Lantzville in December 2011 and ignored and shelved by Jack’s administration.  I am sure Merv Unger, then a Nanaimo city councillor, recalls the number of times that the issue came to their Council table as things went back and forth.

 Council as a whole was not even made aware of the existence of the Dec 2011 draft until 2013 yet they are so similar in wording on many points. Please explain that Jack? When were you given a copy of the Dec 2011 draft?

Jack de Jong’s changes to the agreement confused things operationally and financially in my opinion. There are almost no explanations, reports etc that support or explain any changes since 2011. The one thing is anecdotal statements made about a desperate need of water for the Winds. Anecdotal statements at the time with no detail as to numbers or need. There was definitely no plan or report that explained how it would all work under the conditions agreed to. 

4) Considerable legal and contract negotiating expertise on the Water Agreement- Fiction

What did this expertise get us? Just some samples...

Section 14 is worded so poorly the Districts lawyer reported to Jack de Jong in Sept 2014 that the Section which potentially triggers a public referendum is worded  so poorly that he will take steps to remove or clarify it since it fails to expressly reflect its  intent.  Jack de Jong still signed the agreement.Public had been raising standard yet it needed to be changed? Multiple legal opinions raise the same concern.

A clause that limits new connections each year only to developers and prevents existing  residents from connecting even if they have water problems. No one can explain why or  how this got into the agreement. Maybe Jack can enlighten us?

An agreement that operationally forces us to build additional reservoirs and drop standards in order to service all residents by splitting Upper Lantzville into multiple  zones at a significant cost to the community. Didn’t see that in the public information.  Why not Jack?

An agreement which indicates that after Lantzville connects we will have to pay a fee to Nanaimo for each additional water connection to the Lantzville system whether they use Nanaimo water or Lantzville water. 

A legal opinion on the Conflict position of de Jong and Dempsey that was based on  incorrect information being provided by the District/Council and not corrected by de Jong or staff. This opinion was promoted widely by Jack de Jong.

The structure/logic of the agreement was so flawed in my opinion,  Jack de Jong’s Council removed any opportunity for public input until after it was signed. The December 2011 version allowed for the Lantzville public to have a say in the agreement.  Why did you have this removed Jack?

That is just some of the fiction surrounding the issue of the water agreement in Lantzville. There is enough to fill a book which may be soon written as a case study. Fact analysis coming soon.

Colin Haime

Lantzville being misled on water situation, says reader

By Lance Geselbracht

 I have done a lot of research on this issue and speak as someone who has over 25 years of groundwater hydrology and water supply work as a registered professional civil engineer. I lived in Lantzville for 18 years and will be moving back when I build a house on my new lot in the  Foothills development.  I think it is important that people in Lantzville and Nanaimo understand the true status of water supply in Lantzville.

The District of Lantzville (DOL) has copious amounts of groundwater to supply current residents and business. After drilling a new replacement Well 6a and redeveloping the remaining wells including seldom used Well 5, the Director of Public works issued a memo July 10, 2017 that the District’s Harby Rd. aquifer now has a “verified” capacity of 3,103 cubic meters per day (m³d). This capacity number could increase if DOL accepts the “gift” of Well #11 from a contiguous landowner to 3,800 m³d based on recently completed pump tests. These figures have a 30% percent factor of safety built in so the defacto number is actually larger. I won’t bother adding in the additional capacity from the 4 separate well clusters recently drilled by the Foothills and Lantzville Projects that will significantly take verified, municipal quantity, groundwater resources beyond the 5,000 m³d level.

 The greatest single day of water use in Lantzville is 1,421 m³d and the second highest day occurring in a different year is 1,232 m³d based on the last 20 years of detailed records.  The average daily use per connection in the DOL for the week that these two days occurred is less than 1,200 m³d. Compare the “use” number to the “capacity” number and it is clear that DOL could possibly double the number of connections it currently has for private residences. Businesses may use a little more, maybe less than a private residence, but connecting a few new businesses would not have a material effect on the number of connections available. Somebody would probably generate a petition against a new business anyway, seems to be the Lantzville Way.

The tragedy of this recent information is that residents have been misinformed (lied to) by previous councils and staff for the past twenty years. The information above is not a new revelation, but was detailed in engineering reports starting in the early 1980s. The drilling of the new well and redevelopment was “strongly” recommended by DOL’s consultant in 1996; DOL waited 20 years to implement at great peril to all residents. Even while the DeJong council was drafting the Nanaimo agreement, they had access to a new report that they commissioned, showing the Harby Rd. aquifer had the potential to produce the amount of water detailed in the July 10, 2017 memo. They also had knowledge of the 4 well clusters being drilled by the Foothills and Lantzville Projects, yet proceeded in a manner that insinuated only by connecting to Nanaimo could development occur.

Based on these numbers, DOL would never use a drop of Nanaimo water; why would DOL pay 3 times as much for Nanaimo water rather than just pump their own?  It is shame that Councilor Colclough’s motion to reduce the connection standard to 2.5 m³d per private residence could not receive a majority vote at the July 10 Council meeting. This would have allowed hundreds of new connections to the system for long suffering residents who have wanted to subdivide property they have owned for many, many years. Why does the Big Lie continue in Lantzville; to stop any kind meaningful development or redevelopment of the downtown core? It is municipal malfeasance and incompetence at its finest! 

More background on Lantzville water agreement

By Jack de Jong,
Former Mayor of Lantzville,

July 12, 1017 - After some 20 years of negotiation Nanaimo and Lantzville  reached a comprehensive water agreement in 2014. The process was draped in historical political opaqueness; who owned the water, what was senior government policy and what does it cost?  

There was not much to go on other than a memorandum of understanding. The then-council and staff, some with considerable legal and contract negotiating expertise, put together a package that will serve Lantzville and Nanaimo water interests with respect and consideration well into the future.

This accord didn’t give Lantzville everything it asked for, however, given the historical ill-fated previous negotiating attempts, there was a mutual understanding that there were political limits even for an essential human need such as water. Furthermore, this settlement was not close ended and balanced politics and policy of both communities.

I was involved to develop this accord and contrary to some recent media comments and the reason for this letter, the agreement does not give Lantzville a free ride.  All infrastructure capital costs and  every new connection, including development charges, as well as the use of metered water will paid for by Lantzville residents and will not cost less than what Nanaimo customers pay.

Nanaimo negotiators and Council were guarded. They did not give anything away, but In the end it was recognized there were substantial mutual benefits and while there was opposition in Lantzville and Nanaimo, some historical, some sentimental, opposition to development, and others to costs, the need to address hardship cases and strengthen Lantzville’s water utility to meet future demand as well as wider area fire protection, ultimately led both communities to do the right thing and move on.

I was pleased to see Mayor Colin Haime, who had always sought and supported a Nanaimo water resolution and Mayor Bill McKay, who did not support the agreement as a councillor,  attend the official completion of the water pipe connection.

In the end, even Mayor McKay agreed this was a model for RDN co-operation. This is how it should be. Once councils through the democratic process vote to support a motion the politics should be left behind. In this case the new policy benefits  both communities.

ECONOMIC  BENEFITS

For clarification, I add the following economic fine points.  Lantzville is a strong economic partner for Nanaimo and its annual financial contribution to Nanaimo’s economy is substantial.

  • 1350 Lantzville families spend well over $70 million annually in Nanaimo. In fact most large retailers including Woodgrove Mall, Costco, Home Depot, Wall Mart Chapters etc. are in closer proximity to Lantzville residents than most of Nanaimo’s. All essentials, including food, clothing entertainment, transportation, construction materials etc. are principally sourced from  Nanaimo’s retail and business community.
  • Nanaimo’s  commercial  taxes generate approx. 30% of municipal revenues compared to Lantzville’s 9.0 % . Unlike school taxes and other agency taxation, there is no commercial tax sharing for municipal purposes and none of the revenues generated through Lantzville’s participation in Nanaimo’s  commercial sector  return to Lantzville.

  • All new construction as a result of this water agreement will significantly benefit  Nanaimo. In addition to using many Nanaimo contractors and suppliers Lantzville will be paying for the connection and water use.

  • This agreement is a major economic booster for both communities and will creates jobs for both Nanaimo and Lantzville  residents. 

DIRECT ANNUAL LANTVILLE TAX CONTRIBUTIONS TO NANAIMO

In addition to the previous Lantzville’s 1,350 families annually contributes through direct taxation to the following Nanaimo facilities:

Southern Community Recreation (Nanaimo sports facilities) $417,000

Regional Library $171,109

Port Theatre, $10,000 

SUMMARY

Lantzville is going through the challenges of revising its Official Community Plan (OCP). The new reality of having an adequate water supply will finally allow it to meet many of the terms of its original OCP and objectives of incorporation. It is to some extent unfortunate an agreement could not have been reached earlier as this would have allowed a more reasonable incremental annual population increase in line with the RDN demographics. The effect of a sudden change in policy, after some 20 years will in all probability see a higher growth rate in the next 4 or 5 years to then taper off to the RDN average of 1.5%. Even then Lantzville needs to be careful as the Regional natural population growth is negative and immigration is the only source of growth.  The quality of life and amenities Lantzville offers are excellent, but there is competition from other communities and the need for economic development and jobs in the region will certainly determine if these growth projections will materialize. 

 

 

 

Ron Bolin's Nanaimo Notes - transportation

I recently received an email which encouraged me to protest the City of Edmonton’s permitting Uber to operate in that city. As was about to sign, I thought back to some of the places I have visited where public transportation is less formal than a public mega system like ours which is so expensive to operate that it can’t reach a broad segment of the public due to low densities or poverty. We, for example are a long way in both distance and elevation from a Nanaimo bus stop. We couldn’t live without a car... And while this could be overcome if we moved to a location more compatible with huge buses, it would still leave whoever moved in here with the same problem. Our dilemma is not unique.

Other places where we have either lived or visited have found more flexible and less formal way to handle a problem like ours by using private conveyances of many kinds: jitney buses, private drivers who may establish routes with minimal overhead, pedicabs, you name it, to provide income to individuals and transportation to the public. In a way Uber and its electronically organized competitors provide this kind of service with a centralized communication node which augments a costly public bureaucracy with a private corporation which profits by using drivers with their own vehicles. Why not, as is done elsewhere, eliminate both overheads and allow small entrepreneurs to fill the gap while working under some safety and registration guidelines?

I suspect that something like this, absent the employment is coming in the next decade in any event as self-driving cars can provide this service. We wouldn’t need a car if we could be assured that a vehicle which doesn’t require the expense of a driver could be at our home within a few minutes with a similar wait time on the return. And so we eliminate the human interface as we are doing with so many functions in industry and service until we are left with ever more redundant people.

Our paradigm has to change big time and it has to change soon. Maintaining employment by substituting corporatocracy for bureaucracy or is not viable even in the medium term.

Am I missing something?

Nanaimo should not pick up the tab for water for Lantzville

Letter sent to Nanaimo Councillors:

As a resident of Nanaimo I am dismayed to hear that you are giving our water to Lantzville to make them wealthy. I have been told the big taps on Dover Rd. are soon to be turned on. 

My family in Lantzville was going on about all the new development and construction boom coming to Lantzville based on Nanaimo water. 

From a 600 unit care facility (Ryeland ) worth 10's of millions of dollars, to a new "Fairwinds" style golf course with 274 lots, to allowing all the rural properties to now subdivide down to quarter acre lots changing their 1 to 5 acres parcels into multi developments, this is a million(s) dollar windfall for those residents , who pay no taxes in Nanaimo and contribute very little to our economy.

They are taking large Rural Estate properties (Table A2) and changing to them to Residential zoning and providing Nanaimo water and sewer.

Nanaimo continues to struggle with high poverty rates and low income families but we make select neighbours to the North millionaires.

To add further salt to the wound, the Ryeland property is located in Lower Lantzville but is planning on using Nanaimo water to service their development. We understood that Nanaimo water was only to be used in Upper Lantzville. 

I have sent my letter with the attachments showing the Ryeland development and their source of water from Nanaimo and the proposed new "Fairwinds" and residential zonings to all members of Council and the local newspaper outlets.

If you can not take care of your own residents, who will. 

It would be a powerful point on an election platform for a Councilor seeking re-election to step forward and put the interests of Nanaimo residents first, rather than select developers in a neighboring community who are now using Nanaimo water against the original intent and spirit of what was intended. 

Thank you for your time and consideration of this matter. 

 Sincerely,
 W. Smith

Mayor responds to Lantzville water question

Mayor Bill McKay

Mr. Smith,
Thank you for reaching out and sharing your concerns.

The agreement to provide water to Lantzville has been in the works for a number of years and came to a conclusion by way of agreement and signoff by the two municipalities in September, 2014.  

I did not vote in favour of the agreement in 2013/14, however, the majority of Council voted in the affirmative to supply on a limited basis, water to Lantzville. Any current announcements you may be reading about are based on the completion of the line within the District of Lantzville and it's hookup to the Nanaimo supply.  Water will not flow until such time as Lantzville pays the initial hookup fee as agreed. In the meantime, the connection could only be used in an emergency.

Just to recap, the current Council of the City of Nanaimo has not entered into a water sharing arrangement with Lantzville.  The Agreement is the result of decisions of the previous Councils and was signed off in 2014.

Very best regards,
Mayor Bill McKay