The SCCA has worked in partnership with the Friends of Gospel Rock Society (FOGRS) to secure protection of ecologically rare and sensitive lands in the Gospel Rock Neighbour Area since 2004. In 2013, The Town of Gibsons adopted the Gospel Rock Neighbourhood Plan, which outlined its commitment to protect over 47% of Block 7, a 44-acre privately owned parcel on Gospel Rock, as a combination of Greenspace and Park. ‘Little Africa’, the ‘Cross Rock’, the forested slopes down to Gower Point Road and the entire waterfront on Block 7 are to be protected.
In 2018, the SCCA engaged the (new) Block 7 property owner and partnered with The Land Conservancy (TLC) to secure a legal covenant over the proposed conservation area. We worked to create a draft covenant agreement and expected to reach agreement in 2019 but things stalled with the Town of Gibsons.
In recent months the SCCA learned that the Town staffs want to build a multi-use transportation trail through the fragile conservation area as they believe it is required in the 2018 Development Agreement. The SCCA and the property owner were working on the basis that the original Development Agreement trail map was a draft rather than a mandate. The SCCA has always advocated for low-impact pedestrian access on Gospel Rock and the 2019 draft covenant agreement would allow this. The SCCA supports development of a boardwalk trail on the waterside of the road and implementation of traffic calming measures to ensure cyclist safety through this scenic area. We cannot support a multi-use trail through the covenant area.
The SCCA appeared as a delegation to the Town on May 5, 2020 to initiate dialogue with Gibsons Council on this issue. We are asking Council to amend a 2018 development agreement signed with the property owner to clarify that all trails through the covenant area will be low-impact and pedestrian access only.
Click here for our submission to the Town of Gibsons, and check out the Council meeting video below to see our team in action (from 3:25 – 39:44).