I was a supporter of Kensington Island Properties in 2006, and have to admit that I feel pretty stupid for believing a couple of real whoppers by this developer. So was the developer dumb too or was it all bullshit?
How could I possibly believe a developer could build condos and waterfront homes on the coal hill when KIP called the development Kensington Coastal Pointe? I never gave it a second thought – that’s pretty dumb.
Another doozy is believing the developer claiming it would pay the costs to raise the dam increasing the size of Langley Lake. We don’t even own the land around Langley Lake. Again, ignorance is bliss.
By the summer of 2006, I started asking questions when the Union Bay Residents Assoc. turned out to be a PR group and mouthpiece for KIP. People need to start asking questions instead of blindly believing what they hear.
Check out the Q & A below from 2005. Coal hills will be 80% park. Going to raise the dam 3.2 metres. I know I’m not the only one who was ignorant since no one else questioned these wild claims by KIP at the time. How many are still ignorant?
The third was being so stupid as to believe CAO of the Regional District, Bob Long, who stood before the community on 2 evenings in March 2006 when landowners were able to speak to the development. Bob Long assured landowners that Langley Lake would not even be considered as the water source for KIP – wasn’t even on the table. And yet…
This developer has successfully sucked in the landowners with promises that never become reality and has managed to get the UBID board to bring in the Fire Hall land into the Oct. 12, 2017 Water Agreement so he could reduce the amount of land and then have the board tout the great agreement and how much money the land was worth! KIP promised $17.4 million and UBID negotiated 6.2 acres when 8 were promised in writing and transfer of land immediately.
The board didn’t even negotiate an interest free loan like the expired 2011 WIA. What about their petition where landowners clearly don’t want to pay for the water treatment plant if there is an alternative – developer or other option – become service area of the CVRD and save millions?
Looks like KIP is going to be able to construct two buildings in the area of the KIP shack. Still no information on the north side of the creek with the soil condoms over the contaminated soil KIP disturbed this year.
Borrower required funds to re-finance existing debt and soft costs relating to the development of this master planned community.
Soft costs. Soft Cost is a construction industry term but more specifically a contractor accounting term for an expense item that is not considered direct construction cost. Soft costs include architectural, engineering, financing, and legal fees, and other pre- and post-construction expenses.
MASSIVE UNION BAY DEVELOPMENT MARKS OFFICIAL LAUNCH
A photo of the draft community plan, presented on March 1, 2018. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista RadioUNION BAY, B.C- One of the Comox Valley’s oldest communities could be seeing huge changes in the near future. A long-running development project in the Union Bay area had it’s official launch on Thursday afternoon at the Kingfisher Resort. The project, run by a company formerly known as Kensington Island Properties (KIP), is planned to bring in a total of 2,949 homes in the lightly-populated area, under the name of “Union Bay Estates”. According to Brian McMahon, who’s been working on the project for the last 21 years, the name change was meant to show the development as part of the community. “Everyone has known us as KIP, or Kensington, or whatever,” said McMahon. “We’re Union Bay. That’s who we are. We’re part of Union Bay, and we want to be fulfilling that name, that our development is Union Bay.” The project will take up 346 acres in total, around the core of the current Union Bay community, with multiple phases. An overall population increase of around 7,500 to 9000 people is expected once the project is complete, along with an influx of new businesses. In news releases issued by the developer, a pair of new hotels are predicted, along with a movie theatre and walk-in clinics, among other improvements. The total timeframe of the project is set at around 10 to 15 years for completion. During the launch announcement, both Chief Nicole Rempel of the K’omoks First Nation and Peter Jacques, chair of the Union Bay Improvement District, spoke in positive terms about the project. “I have a 93-year-old girlfriend, and she is always on my case,” said Jacques, while speaking at the event.
Peter Jacques, chair of the Union Bay Improvement District, is pictured during the launch of Union Bay Estates at the Kingfisher Resort on March 1, 2018. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio
“When are we going to see something happen here? I want to see something happen here before I die. I remember when this community was a bustling community, we had shops here, we had families here, we had children here. I want to see some of that, before I go.” (I tell her) I’m trying my best.” When speaking with the press, McMahon expressed a desire to see Union Bay grow again.
Brian McMahon speaks to reporters on March 1, 2018, outside the Kingfisher Resort. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio
“Union Bay used to have a population of 10,000 people,” said McMahon. “When the colliery was running, there were three hotels, there were banks, there were grocery stores, there was a department store, and it’s all gone. We’re looking to bring a lot of that back into the community.” McMahon also had more details on the planned remediation of the Union Bay coal hills, which are planned to be covered over by West Fraser Mills Ltd. According to him, the project will involve flattening the terrain to 50 feet across the hills, from a current elevation of 72 to 73 feet. Sand will then be used to cap the site, with an engineered membrane to go over top and be “heat-sealed”. Another layer of sand would be placed on top, along with a “growth medium”, and the site would be seeded with grass. No trees or anything with a taproot would be allowed on the site, as it could damage the membrane. “I suspect it’ll be green in the spring, green in the fall, and probably brown in the summertime,” said McMahon. “It’s not going to have any irrigation.” He believed it would eventually become a provincial park. “We’re going to enhance the walkability of the property, and to the park that’s its going to be,” said McMahon. While the developer is still working through processes with government bodies to begin work on the site, the first phase of construction will involve an upgrade to the Union Bay marina this summer, and the construction of office spaces for Union Bay Estates in the community. The first homes should be getting built in May or June of 2019, according to McMahon. “If all goes well,” he said.
It’s bad enough that we have to endure the endless bullshit by this developer, now UBID has stepped in to do public relations on KIP’s behalf. Maybe McMahon just submitted it to UBID and they posted it on his behalf – nothing would surprise me where these characters are involved!
My guess is they’re doing damage control over the contaminated soil being excavated and spinning it that the developer is committed to providing a clean and healthy environment. Ya, KIP is doing a great job with covering the contaminated soil with those plastic condoms.
Can’t build even one house without a sewage system. Can’t build his cafe/deli or subdivide without “a release letter from the Director under the Environmental Management Act”. KIP has cleared land before at Argyle claiming that would be phase 1. I’ll believe it when he is allowed to subdivide – that’s the point when the MDA comes into effect – until then, it’s just more bullshit.
If it was a ‘cesspool of contaminants’ in 2009 with no remediation and ‘pollutants going out hundreds of feet’ – how do you spin that to something positive when this developer stated ‘they budgeted for it’ (the remediation) and then dumped their 27 acres of contamination back on the province (us)?
What prompted this? Why does the Admin have time to do pr for KIP and yet can’t/won’t answer any questions related to the unlawful acts 4 of the trustees and admin took part in? The media have given the board/chair many opportunities to provide answers and have simply refused.
Remediation – a word we have lived with for a very long time. So 10 years ago the VP of KIP stated the coal hill was a “cesspool of contaminants that continued to leech into Baynes Sound.” There has been zero remediation but suddenly KIP has included the “cesspool of contaminants” in the Union Bay Estates as part of a 100 acre park.
With this in mind I don’t have much confidence in the remediation of the contaminated soil in the article below.
Great job covering with the plastic – I can see it must be very effective. 🙂
The Union Bay Estates work site along Highway 19a just north of the Washer Creek crossing is pictured on March 18th, 2019. Photo by James Wood/98.9 The Goat/Vista Radio
UNION BAY, B.C- Contaminated soil being dug at a large Union Bay development won’t be leaving the area.
The development, which officially launched in March of last year, will be bringing huge changes to Union Bay, a small community in the Comox Valley’s south end.
The project, run by a company formerly known as Kensington Island Properties (KIP), is planned to bring in a total of 2,949 homes in the lightly-populated area, under the name of Union Bay Estates.
The project will take up 346 acres in total, around the core of the current Union Bay community, with multiple phases.
Work on the site has picked up in recent months, with land getting cleared along the Old Island Highway and near the Union Bay coal hills.
The MyComoxValleyNow.com newsroom sought comment from the provincial Ministry of Environment on the matter. According to the ministry, contaminated railbed soil was temporarily stockpiled at the site as part of the pre-development land clearing, including the work to establish an access road.
The newsroom sought more comment from the ministry about the material, and how it will be disposed of.
According to the ministry, the environmental consultant being used by Union Bay Estates at the project is preparing a plan that includes onsite containment of the excavated soils. That plan will be reviewed by the ministry as part of a remedial plan approval process.
The soils were first excavated at the end of January 2019, and placed on the same railbed. They were placed at least 50 metres from a riparian setback from Washer Creek, and are not expected to pose an environmental concern to the creek or surrounding community.
The ministry indicated that residents don’t need to be concerned about the material being dug up blowing into the community.
“The stockpiles were covered with plastic sheeting to protect against rain and wind erosion following excavation in January, with additional erosion and sediment controls installed around them,” read the ministry response.
“Heavy snowfall at the beginning of February prevented access to the site until just recently. When it became evident to the environmental consultant that the stockpile coverings required repair, additional plastic sheeting was installed and further erosion controls were implemented. This work was done the week of March 18.”
As for whether or not the ministry would be recommending any further clean up at the site, beyond the current steps being taken by the developer and their contractor, it was indicated that that would be assessed during the remedial planning and review phases.
“The site will be remediated in accordance with a remediation plan prepared by the environmental consultant and reviewed by the Ministry,” read the response.
Asked why digging and stockpiling would be allowed prior to a remediation plan being in place, the ministry had the following statement.
“At this time they are operating under a permit issued by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to construct an access road, which includes tree removal/land clearing,” read the statement.
“They are authorized to clear lands outside designated development permit areas and they must maintain buffers around watercourses and the ocean as well as around nesting habitat for eagles and heron.”
The soil will be managed on site.
“Managed on site” can mean a number of different things depending upon the nature of contamination and a site’s specific circumstances (e.g., proposed land use, size, geology, etc.),” read the ministry response.
“The qualified professionals developing the remediation plan will determine if onsite management is a feasible remediation option and, if so, will specify the actions to be carried out to ensure that human health and the environment are appropriately protected; these actions could include containment and/or treatment of contaminated material or even less intervention if supported by a risk assessment.”
There are no plans to move the soil from the site to another location, according to the ministry. They will be monitoring the project as it continues.