View from Egmont -
| email Friends of Egmont | website contact |  »  news release index |  
NEWS - Coast Reporter - 21 Feb 2004
EGMONT

PNR applies for Crown lands sale

BEVERLY SAUNDERS
CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Land and Water B.C. (LWBC) confirmed this week that Pacific Northwoods -Resources (PNR) has applied for a direct sale of the Crown lands on Egmont Point.

These lands abut the present PNR property across from Egmont currently being logged by Malloch Logging.

Pacific Northwoods Resources, owned by ex-NHL player Geoff Courtnall, logger Dale Malloch and investor Paul Reddam, had announced plans to build a resort complex on the property. A new report for LWBC includes changes to the originally announced plans. An assessment report prepared for LWBC by Iindros Project Development was released this week.

The report includes plans for a Salish village and cultural centre at the mouth of Earle Creek on the two acres owned by the Sechelt Indian Band(SIB).

The future resort and residential homes would be moved from the present PNR property to the Crown land property on Egmont Point and Killam Bay. The report also mentions development of a film studio.

The report, dated September 2003, makes the following recommendations: sell the Crown land directly to PNR on the condition that rezoning is approved by the Sunshine Coast Regional District and the SIB is supportive of the overall plan; and cost share in the preparation of a community development plan including the existing PNR holdings and proposed Crown land acquisitions.

Greg Lindroff of Lindros was in Egmont earlier this month to complete the assessment he began last summer.

He met with Geoff Craig, president of the Egmont Community Club (ECC), and also the SCRD.

Judy Skogstad, SCRD manager of planning and development, said she relayed the community's issues to him along with the information that the property is a back drop to the Skookumchuck Park, a highly visited area.

Lindroff had previously met with the SIB, SCRD and the Provincial Parks Surrey office last August.

Peter Walters, regional manager of the development and marketing division of LWBC Inc., said a comprehensive development plan for both the Crown land and private land would have to be developed by Pacific Northwoods at their expense.

"Generally speaking, they will have to address the concerns of the Egmont community, the SCRD and the Sechelt Band," Walters said.

This plan would include a logging plan, a plan to compensate for lost public recreation opportunities and a plan to accommodate the SIB's interests. LWBC would take the community's and the band's interest and input into account when making any decision to sell Egmont Point.

Sechelt Indian Band Chief Garry Feschuk has repeatedly stated that the provincial government must consult with the First Nations. "We are still using that land and traditional territory," stated Feschuk at the first Friends of Egmont meeting in December. Feschuk was unavailable for further comment this week.

The next step will be to get an appraisal of the current market value by a certified appraiser. PNR must be willing to buy the Crown property at market value. If it were willing to do so, the offer to purchase the property would be conditional on meeting the requirements of the development plan. This includes a rezoning application.

At the recent ECC AGM, members expressed concern and frustration that the Egmont community had not been informed by PNR of its plans and had not had a chance for input.

The ECC is sending a letter to PNR expressing its concerns and asking the company to come to a community meeting to present plans to residents.

"There was no input by local citizens when this land was transferred originally," Craig said. "There should be some public input if more Crown land is to be transferred this time around."

John Rees, SCRD Area A representative, reiterated that in order to build any development on its property, PNR must come before the SCRD and the Egmont community with in-depth plans and ask for a zoning change.

The Friends of Egmont organization has posted the entire assessment report on its website at www.ravagedegmont.com.

A PNR spokesperson said the company did not wish to respond to inquiries at this time.