Reclaimed marsh land picked for new RCMP station

North Cowichan-Duncan RCMP. - file
North Cowichan-Duncan RCMP.
— image credit: file

North Cowichan has identified a 1.78-hectare parcel of land located on the north side of Beverly Street between the Trans-Canada Highway and York Road as a suitable site for a new RCMP building.

During a four-year search, municipal staff had been unable to find a centrally-located site within the RCMP service area with easy access to the Trans-Canada Highway and close to the City of Duncan, Cowichan Tribes land and Vancouver Island University.

But construction of a new flood protection dike will create an area on Beverly Street for the new building on land already owned by the municipality.

"We must first request and receive approval from the Agricultural Land Commission,'' said North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure in a media release.

He added policies established by North Cowichan's Official Community Plan must also be followed and any exclusion request must result in a benefit to agriculture.

Council has directed staff to make an application to the ALC. It will propose the inclusion of 3.26-hectares of municipally-owned land at the end of Beverly Street into the Agricultural Land Reserve in exchange for the 1.78-hectare site from the ALR for the proposed building.

A decision from the ALC is expected later this year.

The current RCMP building on Canada Avenue is deemed too small to accommodate staff and it does not meet the latest building and safety codes. Allowance has been made in the 2015 Municipal budget for construction of a new building.

"A new facility is a critical component in our day-to-day service delivery and the planned location will allow for ready access to all of our coverage area and convenient access for the general public,'' said North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP Inspector Kevin Hewco in a statement.

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