Just a short drive to the peninsula, the area is facing tremendous development pressure. The backlands, to the west of the road, is designated “urban reserve” by the regional plan, meaning that it is not to be developed until sometime after the 25-year planning horizon of the plan. But those rules are sometimes broken; in Dartmouth, developers have been successful in removing the urban reserve designation from their property.
Residents are especially worried because the old McCurdy estate, a 300-acre parcel adjacent to Williams Lake, was bought by Clayton Developments just in September, and the sewer and water study was OKed by council just five months later. City staff justified the study with two surveys of residents, in 2006 and 2007; residents question the validity of those surveys, and say that in any event five years has passed with no action, then once the McCurdy land was sold the study suddenly moved forward. There are a lot of details to this story, which I'll get into in future posts.