Swartz Bay buses to get new platforms

Ferry construction okayed

BC Ferries promises to work with neighbours as the transport company is set to build new transit platforms.

North Saanich council okayed the development permit for the bus areas, with many councillors reiterating their stance that the corporation should continue to work with neighbours.

“At the last (council) meeting I tried to provide a summary of the proposal and some of the changes that we’ve made. At that meeting I mentioned that we have two processes that we’re going to follow as far as consultation and ongoing dialogue with the neighbours,” said Stephen Nussbaum of BC Ferries. As they move forward, they’ll stay in touch with immediate neighbours and BC Ferries also has an advisory committee that they work with on a regular basis, he said.

Two neighbours directly impacted by the development are still displeased with the plan, and submitted letters to the district outlining concerns.

“I think Mr. Nussbaum has hit the issue that is of most concern and that’s the relationship with the immediate neighbours,” said councillor Peter Chandler.

Staff noted that council cannot legislate further consultation within the development permit, but Chandler asked that the corporation continue the communication.

“The neighbours are not happy because they live next to a ferry terminal,” said councillor Craig Mearns. “But they knew that when they bought the places, in most cases, and the ferry terminal isn’t going away.

“BC Ferries has reduced the size of this development considerably over what it was originally.”

Councillor Dunstan Browne noted that the concerns of at least one neighbour referred to reducing the numbers of buses or passengers arriving at the terminal and the noise and pollution related to that.

“I cannot imagine that BC Ferries has any control over actual reduction of number of buses or passengers arriving at the terminal … if people want to use the ferries they come. If they want to come by bus they come by bus,” Browne said.

Council agreed to issue the permits for the work.