Hornby Island trustees reject controversial subdivision

Map of the property proposed for subdivision on Hornby Island
Map of the property proposed for subdivision on Hornby Island from the agenda of the public hearing by the Hornby Island Local Trust Committee.
Mick Sweetman - CHLY - NanaimoBC | 30-01-2021

Hornby Island local trustees will not allow a controversial division of land to proceed.

The trustees voted unanimously against a request by a local doctor to subdivide a four hectare lot in a rural area. The rejection of the rezoning application came after a well-attended virtual public hearing today.

Neighbours, including Allan Fletcher who runs a farm across from the property, spoke against the plan.

"David Wiseman is a neighbour and he is a friend. He was my doctor when I was growing up. I don't like being in the position that I'm in now, where I'm having to say to him 'no, you can't do that.' Why are we even discussing this? There is a covenant on the property. There are many reasons why this property was not allowed to be subdivided. It just dumbfounds me why we're here," Fletcher said.

Trustee Alex Allen noted all but two of Wiseman's neighbours opposed the subdivision and that their participation in the public hearing was crucial.

"Really, you can't always choose your neighbours. I've been next to a vacation rental, they guy who pretends he's in a woodlot with his chainsaw down the road and on and on and on. But this is a time where democracy is speaking out," said Allen.

The property owner said he was disappointed by the decision. Dr. David Wiseman hinted that it might prompt him to leave the island.

"I was counting on this for my future here on Hornby and it's gonna make a huge difference to how much longer I can live here," Wiseman said.

Wiseman is now unable to divide the lot under current zoning.