Cable Bay: The controverisal development may yet be halted.

The local group that is trying to stop the development in Cedar seems to be gaining steam. I’ve been watching the controversy as it has gradually progressed. It looked like they might not get enough signatures for their petition for a while, but now it looks like they have. Next they have to actually get the referendum set up and then win it.  Lots of work to do yet.

Ryan Coffey

Group claims to be able to force referendum

Darrell Bellaart
Daily News

A group opposed to an 1,800-unit housing development and golf course says it has enough signatures to force the city to hold a referendum on annexing some rural land needed for the development

"We have the numbers," said Beverly Eert, who started campaigning to collect signatures in late June.

She and volunteers needed the signatures of 10% of Nanaimo voters to block the annexing of 97 acres of Cedar land Cable Bay Lands wants put under city jurisdiction.

The developer wants to revise the official community plan and rezone the land to allow it to put a golf course on roughly half the property and mixed-density housing on the other half.

Eert started collecting signatures in late June. She organized a team of volunteers to collect the signatures through a group calling itself Save Our Strategy, or SOS. Some Nanaimo volunteers helped. They needed 5,815 people to sign elector response forms.

The city of Nanaimo applied to the provincial government earlier this year to annex the 97 acres of rural property, currently zoned for agricultural uses. The annexation is under a reverse approval process in which the province assumes it has local support unless 10% or more of voters register their opposition.

Voters can only do that by signing and completing elector response forms to city hall. If the required number of forms are properly filled out and submitted a referendum is needed for the annexation to pass.

Organizers say they reached that 10% target this week. They plan to present the forms to city hall on Tuesday, the deadline for their return.

"We’re still collecting all weekend because we want to make sure," Eert said.

"It’s been hard work and we’ve been out in the sun and rain and we’ve managed to capture the attention of the people of Nanaimo and we’ve definitely convinced them we need to go down a different route."

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