The Royal Bay neighbourhood in Colwood continues to move steadily toward the vision described in the Area Plan that is part of the City's Official Community Plan (OCP).
The lands owned by GableCraft Homes are outlined on the map below that is part of the OCP and the tree removal happening now was envisioned when the land was first rezoned. While there have been changes to this concept map which was published in the OCP, including the sale of the Royal Beach lands below Metchosin Road, the park plans for the North area bordered by Cotlow Road and for the South area bordered by Latoria Creek Park have not changed.
How the City works to protect trees in development lands
City staff work closely with development teams to ensure trees are strictly protected in existing parks and protected areas as well as in future park areas outlined in rezoning and development agreements.
Even when it is known that tree removal will be required as a development progresses, City staff work to ensure trees are left in place until new construction is scheduled to begin. This preserves existing tree canopy for as long as possible and ensures tree loss is followed by tree replacement as quickly as possible.
When tree removal within development lands is considered, the City works with developers and other professionals such as biologists and arborists to determine details about tree species, tree health, nesting and habitat considerations and ground stability. (Similar to how residential property owners provide details to obtain a Tree Permit, although it is a much more complex and costly process on development lands.)
Creating new homes, parks and trails in Royal Bay North
In 2019, GableCraft created the North Ridge Trail that runs from the Painter Trail at Painter Road up to Metchosin Road. A small section of that trail was temporary, knowing it would need to be shifted to its ultimate location over time as new homes are built. GableCraft Homes is now preparing to undertake that work.
The next step will be to connect this trail back to Wishart Road creating a seamless walking connection from Wishart Road to Metchosin Road. Staff are working with the developer to work around the trees as they construct the trail through this area which is defined as future park space.
At the same time, Meadow Park continues to expand. The park now extends from Latoria Boulevard at Dunlin Street, through to Caspian Drive and beyond to Bonaparte Street. Meadow Park Green is being constructed now with a new play structure, washrooms, lighting, seating and spaces for food trucks and events.
As Royal Bay continues to develop there will be a whole new series of parks and trails on the south side of Latoria Boulevard including new connections into Latoria Creek Park.
The map below shows the area where tree removal is currently planned along the North Ridge Trail to allow for the planned subdivision and trail realignment.