A former campground is being resurrected in Tofino.
From around the late-1970’s to mid-2000’s, Surf Grove Campground operated roughly 600 campsites and the owners of the large, multi-lot, area are working to restore 130 of those sites for commercial use.
Tofino’s municipal council approved a development permit during a special meeting held July 22 that allows Surf Grove to re-develop a portion of the existing campground by resurfacing existing roads and campsites with gravel and removing vegetation that has grown since the campsite stopped operating, according to a report from Tofino’s manager of community sustainability Aaron Rodgers.
“They’re basically just reinvigorating existing gravel roads and existing gravel campsites,” Rodgers told the Westerly News. “You’re not allowed to alter ground or build a structure or subdivide until you get a development permit. Even though these roads were existing and the campsites were existing, they had been overgrown by some vegetation…As soon as you put that shovel in the ground, you’re required to get a development permit.”
Prior to the July 22 special meeting, Surf Grove had received a permit directly from district staff, but that permit was rescinded and a stop work order issued after it was discovered that staff did not have the authority to issue such a permit without the approval of council.
“Staff issued it in error,” Rodgers said.
Council approved the permit without discussion on July 22, essentially lifting the stop work order.
Rodgers said the land has long been zoned as a campground, but noted the applicants would need to obtain a business licence before operating any of the revitalized sites.
He added that Surf Grove has also received a permit to build bathrooms and that all the work being done must meet specific environmental and design requirements.
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