Selling foresty-zoned land at Cowichan Lake a mistake, says Couverdon Real Estate president

Although Ladysmith is currently at the public consultation phase of developing a 270 hectare parcel of forestry land, development of more Cowichan Lake land isn't on the table, yet, Couverdon Real Estate president Bev Park said.

  • Mar. 21, 2011 10:00 a.m.

Although Ladysmith is currently at the public consultation phase of developing a 270 hectare parcel of forestry land, development of more Cowichan Lake land isn’t on the table, yet, Couverdon Real Estate president Bev Park said.

But, this doesn’t mean it’ll be off the table forever.

Although 95 per cent of TimberWest’s forestry-zoned land will remain in the forestry function, Park said that the areas they will look to re-zone in the future for other purposes are relatively small parcels of land – mainly waterfront.

“You’re not going to log anyway,” she said, of the land.

Currently for sale is 759 acres in the Skutz Falls area, at a price of $2,449,000. The land is zoned as F-1, and RC3.

According to Couverdon’s website, F-1 land must be at least 80 hectares per parcel, while RC3 must be only 20.

It is through such sales of F-1 land in the Cowichan Lake area that Couverdon has earned itself a bad reputation in recent years.

As featured in the January 12 issue of the Gazette, various F-1 zoned Cowichan Lake-front properties have been sold to individuals.

Skirting the 80-hectare minimum size requirement, they’ve been selling shares of the land, and moving their recreational vehicles in.

This, despite zoning regulations requiring that the 80 hectare parcels have only one primary residence and one out building.

“We didn’t mean for that to happen,” Park said. “It was a completely unintended consequence.”

As such, she said that there’s to be no further sale of F-1 land.

With their Cowichan Lake land currently already zoned as F-1, this will mean Couverdon must go through public consultation, and then through the CVRD, before they can be re-zoned for other purposes. This will leave the onus up to the public as to whether or not lake-front land should be developed.

Some time by the Fall, Park expects six lots off of Mesachie Lake to go up for sale.

These have already been through the public consultation process, she said.

Last October, representatives from Couverdon met with the CVRD Area F Parks Advisory Commission, where they gifted enough land across the four lots for a pedestrian connector, linking to potential future paths, ultimately connecting Honeymoon Bay with the Town of Lake Cowichan.

The six Mesachie Lake lots range significantly in size.

Beginning with the western-most four waterfront lots, the range in size is between 2.5 acres and 16.3 acres. Going east, the two remaining lots are 49.6 acres and 166.2 acres.

As for public consultation pertaining to additional F-1 land, Park said that it may begin by the end of 2011, at the earliest.

Couverdon is the real estate arm of TimberWest.