Rezoning at Cowichan Bay Terminal should be approved
Re: Rezoning application – Cowichan Bay Terminal
The Cowichan Bay Terminal built in the 1920s is zoned for industrial activities. The terminal has requested a rezoning to include the addition of marine manufacturing and marine safety operations including oil spill response. Should the CVRD grant the rezoning?
The manufacturing proposed must be marine-oriented and dependent on the waterfront location. Pacific Industrial Marine (PIM) manufactures steel bridge components and concrete floats for marine-oriented uses and depends on its waterfront location. PIM has been operating at this location since 1990 and has 50 skilled employees.
The Cowichan estuary is an environmentally sensitive site and important wildlife habitat. It is so important that a special body was established by provincial Order-In-Council, The Cowichan Estuary Environmental Management Committee to oversee the protection of the estuary. The rezoning application was reviewed by the committee and a public meeting held. The committee indicated the businesses had been operating on the site for over 25 years and they had no documented evidence of significant environmental impacts. The committee discussed site management issues for the CVRD and did not object to the rezoning.
The Cowichan Bay Advisory Planning Commission did an on-site inspection, held a public meeting and unanimously recommended the rezoning be approved, with site management recommendations.
The CVRD will hold a public hearing on the rezoning application. Should the rezoning be approved? The marine manufacturing has not caused significant environmental impact over the last 27 years; PIM employs 50 people; PIM has cooperated with environmental groups to enhance the estuary; PIM has removed 20 derelict vessels from the estuary at its own cost, when no one else would; PIM will convert a large portion of a water lot from industrial use to conservation protection with the rezoning. The rezoning will allow a socially and environmentally responsible Cowichan Valley company to stay in business and the rezoning should be approved.