RE: Metchosin considering park rezoning (July 16)
In June of this year Metchosin municipal council quietly passed bylaw 620 to remove park status from Spellman Park, with the ultimate goal of selling the land for two residential lots. Council claims that they will put the proceeds into a fund for an as yet unidentified future parkland purchase. They have done this by using the controversial “Alternative Approval Process”, a method where residents have to mount a campaign to prevent an action, rather than seeking citizen’s approval first. This was done during the quiet summer months when there is a gap in the local newspaper distribution during July and August, and while many residents are away on vacation.
The Alternative Approval Process requires that 10% of eligible voters of Metchosin sign an “Elector Response Form” and that these be submitted to Municipal Hall by September 4 of this year either by mail or in person. Electronic submissions are not accepted. So far more than 260 such forms have been filled out toward the required 377, despite almost no one knowing that this is occurring. To date every resident as well as non-resident of Metchosin has been shocked at the very concept of destruction of any park, much less one that was donated for that sole purpose in the 1970s.
The park in question, at the corner of Lindholm Road and Spellman Place, is about 4.5 acres in size and is contiguous with Blinkhorn Nature Park. Together they form about 50 acres of natural area and wildlife corridor, vital for protection of many species and their habitats. Part of Spellman Park is a seasonal wetland, and home to a population of salamanders as well as many other wildlife species.
For detailed information please contact long-time Metchosin resident and well-known biologist Dr. Anna Hall. firstname.lastname@example.org