Stoney Hill Road project could see archaeological, environmental studies ordered

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The path to a new Stoney Hill Road may be paved with legal issues, and two more studies — possibly being debated tomorrow, North Cowichan's mayor signaled.

"We're going to try and move ahead a little bit," Jon Lefebure said of Wednesday's 3 p.m. council meeting, "but I suspect council may decide to do archaeological and environmental assessments to see if the petitioner route has any chance of success."

That and another route across Maple Bay Peninsula are under discussion.

Council has received recent lawyers' letters concerning legal issues surrounding the upgraded road that council has agreed to provide residents footing much of the cost.

"We had to take council into an in-camera (private) meeting to discuss legal stuff because of lawyers letters," said Lefebure. "My whole discussion has been in-camera, so I can't repeat any of it."

Council wants to examine ramifications of the planned $2-million, gravel road's route — out to Octopus Point-area homes and other abodes branching from the municipal forest - before bylaws are passed, and work starts, Lefebure explained.

"We're still in the middle of it," he said of the protracted process amid concerns by preservationists, Native leaders, and homeowners wishing a safer road running off Genoa Bay Road and across part of Bird's-Eye Cove Farm.

"Cowichan Tribes said it wasn't acceptable to determine the route, then do the study and say 'We'll just skirt around it,'" said Lefebure. "Better to do the studies first, then not proceed if there's something significant in the way," he said of possible artifacts and eco-sensive sites.


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