Report and Recommendations to

Bowen Island Municpal Council

with respect to

Snug Cove Village Plan: Draft V

GVRD Surplus Lands

February 24, 2004



  1. Draft V of Snug Cove Village Plan
  2. Next Steps
  3. The Issues
  4. Potential Dollars
  5. Terms of Rezoning
  6. Recommendations

Please email Dai Roberts (wendai@shaw.ca) as soon as possible if you would like to add your name as a supporter of this submission to Council, or if you have comments and/or criticisms and/or suggestions for additions, corrections and the like.

  1. Draft V of Snug Cove Village Plan

    One of the main reasons to forge ahead with Draft 5 of the Snug Cove Village Plan, or its replacement, is to take control of the inevitable long-term expansion of Snug Cove, as the Island population expands. The foundation issue, apart form ferry marshalling, is to resolve the GVRD Surplus Lands issue in a way that will enhance the development and expansion of the Cove, since virtually all the land around the Cove is owned by GVRD. The Municipality owns no land, a deficiency in the original Municipal Charter.

    Draft 5 does not spell out what GVRD might be allowed to do with their Surplus Lands. It is reasonable to assume that they wish to sell significant amounts of them for their optimum financial gain. This could mean "develop and retail", "wholesale", or sell blocks of zoned land to developers. The market price of any land is established primarily by: its zoning; cost to complete servicing; and by the type of target purchasers -- private home-builders, builders, developers, or municipality.

    Draft 5 does address various zonings for the Surplus Lands such as: Village Residential (VR); Multi-Family (MF); Civic Institutional (CI); Village Commercial (VC); and Crippen Regional Park (CR). It is not clear exactly how many potential lots of each zoning would be appropriate.

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  2. Next Steps

    Once the OCP is changed and Surplus Lands are zoned, GVRD themselves could subdivide, service and retail off the land in the way that District of North Vancouver has done for many years generating a steady source of income. This could take many years and would consume significant staff time and financing costs.

    Alternately, GVRD. could wholesale off blocks of the land, progressively, to developers to subdivide, service and sell. This might be less troublesome, but would also generate a lesser return. It might be little quicker than retailing. However, developers are only likely to buy as much land as they consider that they can sell off in a short time. It might also take years to sell off all the land in this way.

    Or, GVRD could sell the land to the Municipality prior to zoning at a bulk wholesale price, minimizing their time and effort, acquiring immediate cash. The Municipality would have to borrow the funds, but the their potential long term gains would be excellent. It should be noted that the Municipality can borrow funds at better rates that most developers. Profits could be applied to a civic buildings, a performing arts centre, a municipal hall, or a recreation centre for example.

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  3. The Issues

    Draft 5 or its replacement involves two main issues that relate to GVRD:

    1. GVRD requires OCP changes and rezoning in order to achieve their financial goals, a matter completely in the control of the Municipal Council;
    2. Bowen Island Municipality requires land:
      1. freely to determine its own destiny, and personality - "The Village Within the Park";
      2. have its own village green - namely "Bowfest Grounds";
      3. control its own heritage - namely "The Orchard";
      4. have its own baseball diamond and probably a new full sized diamond; and
      5. have freedom to solve long term ferry marshalling issues.
    NOTE. In reality, in our democratic world, who really owns these lands? The Government? But that is the people! The G.V.R.D. a non-elected bureaucracy? Why not the Municipality? Why was the GVRD allowed to off-load its Bowen Liabilities, while keeping unencumbered assets?

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  4. Potential Dollars

    Although Draft 5 does not provide the concise number of lots to be created through OCP changes and rezoning, the attached chart presents a theoretical, but conservative, analysis of the net gain to G.V.R.D. Regardless of whether GVRD develop and sell or wholesale off the re-zoned Surplus Lands they do stand to gain millions of dollars. It would not be unreasonable, though not essential, that the Municipality share this bounty, which, even on our conservative estimates, far exceeds their original investments plus compounded interest.

    Bowen Island Municipality
    Snug Cove Plan, Draft 5 or its replacement
    GVRD Surplus Lands

    Note:There are no hard figures in Draft 5—the following are conservative estimates.

    Wholesale price of land to GVRD
    Land zoning Estimated market sales price per lot* Estimated cost of servicing per lot* Estimated development costs for water and sewer per lot* Developer net per lot* Estimated number of lots Total developer gross income* Per lot* Gross to GVRD* Developer gross profit*
    VR 130 25 12 93 20 1,860 70 1,400 460
    VC 175 15 15 145 8 1,160 100 800 360
    MF 70 15 10 45 60 2,700 35 2,100 600
    CI - Assumed deeded to municipality - - 0 -
    - - GVRD whole sales for - - 4,300 -
    VR: Village Residential • MF: Multi-family • VC: Village commercial • CI: Civic/Institutional

    *Note: These figures are in thousands of dollars, as per normal accounting practice.

    Alternately, GVRD develops and retails the land, subdivided themselves, providing a gross capital return of $5,720,000

    Or, GVRD. sells all the Surplus Lands to the Municipality prior to rezoning at a 40% discount on the potential $4,300,000 giving a return to GVRD of $2,580,000, and a gross profit to the municipality of $1,720,000.

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  5. Terms of Rezoning

    Developers requesting changes to the OCP and rezoning of large blocks of lands, beyond the existing OCP allowed densities, are invariably required to provide the Municipality with "amenities". There is no reason why the GVRD should be treated in any other way.

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  6. Recommendations
    1. We recommend that our Council arrange for the planners to produce a drawing of the Surplus Lands that clearly identifies:
      1. the actual land required for expansion of the BICS playing field, including a possible full size baseball diamond;
      2. the various blocks of land that the Municipality might consider for multi-family (MF) zoning and a target of the number of townhouses that they might accommodate;
      3. the various blocks of land that the Municipality might consider for Village Commercial (VC) zoning and the number of lots intended.; and
      4. the parcels of land that the Municipality might consider rezoning to Village Residential, also identifying the appropriate number of new lots.
    2. We recommend the preliminary terms of rezoning include such items as:
      1. special attached development cost charges for water and sewer; and
      2. basic road standards for such developments.
    3. We recommend that the Council should outline the required amenities that will be required to support such OCP changes and rezoning:
      1. the transfer to the Municipality of all the lands between Dorman Road, Miller Road, Union Steamship Marina, Cardena Road and the Lagoon, inclusive of the Old General Store and the Boulevard Cottage; and
      2. make a donation to Abbyfield of $150,000.
        Note: Many in our community feel that it was totally unreasonable for GVRDd to sell, rather than give, Abbyfield a piece of what is really community land. Abbyfield's well-being is a basic motherhood issue in our community.
    4. We recommend that Council advise GVRD of these possible OCP changes and rezonings and clarify that inclusion and processing of them into the Snug Cove Village Plan will only commence on receipt of a corresponding request from GVRD. This request must confirm the amenities that GVRD are willing to give to Bowen Island Municipality and such amenities shall be subject to the acceptance of Council.
    5. With the negotiated concurrence of GVRD, include the above in the Snug Cove Village Plan and, in this clear manner, bring the plan forward to the public for input and Public Hearing.

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  7. Who are the Concerned Citizens?

    To date the following have requested that their names be added as supporters of this report.

    Due to shortage of time and the very recent circulation of this document, many Islanders have not got back to us yet. We expect many more names to add to this list and therefore, the list will be updated as names come in.

    Michelle Vaillancourt David Hill Shelagh Hill Wendy Roberts
    Dai Roberts Gail Roddan Pauline Le Bel Hans Merklebach
    Gillian Bennett Anne Lagasse Mary Selman Gordon Selman
    Doug Berry Ruth Harding Daniel Heald Jan Furst

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Please email any comments or questions about the ferry and village plans, especially corrections and additions to Dai Roberts (wendai@shaw.ca)

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