Rick and Rebekka Lim spent a couple hours at their 13-acre Minato Road property over the weekend with the sun on their backs and the stamp of approval from town officials in their pocket.
The Lim’s, who currently own and operate Ucluelet’s Petro Canada, took possession of the 221 Minato Road property in 2016. After years of discussion with the district, on Aug. 13 mayor and council unanimously voted in favour to support the rezoning the property for development.
“It’s a big project,” said Rick Lim. “We expected it to take some time to move forward. There are a lot of moving pieces and I believe the district, Rebekka, and I are on the same page.”
“It’s exciting. Good job District of Ucluelet. They’ve been working really hard,” said Rebekka Lim.
The first phase of Lim’s Minato Road development will feature 10 long-term seasonal RV sites and a workshop. The Lim’s hope to have the RV sites operational by next spring.
“It’s great. We need to move this along. They have jumped through all the hoops. We are in desperate need of camping, especially with Covid-19 now. It’s very timely,” said mayor Mayco Noel.
Phase two and three of the Minato development includes an 80-site capacity campground and a single-family dwelling, which will be the Lim’s dream retirement home. In order to move their development and rezoning application along, the Lim’s donated about four acres of waterfront land to conserve the delicate marine shoreline adjacent to the property. Concepts for a trail system and viewing platform are in the works.
Barbara Schramm spoke at the Aug. 13 public hearing held in the Ucluelet Community Centre gymnasium. She extended a branch of co-operation on behalf of the Wild Pacific Trail Society (WPTS).
“The Trail Society is very happy to work with the district and the land owner to create a trail network as long as it connects to an exit on both ends of that trail. We are not keen for any dead-end trails that just serve the campground,” said Schramm, WPTS president.
“It would need to connect to the Ancient Cedars and flow all the through and out to lands beyond so that people continue to just keep walking,” she explained.
The Lims said the mudflats trail connector fits nicely with Ucluelet’s Official Community Plan.
“The biggest concern is going to be the added foot traffic at Cedar Road. But, I believe, the planning department is on top of that,” Rick Lim notes.
Mark Fortune, Ucluelet’s deputy fire chief and a resident of Minato Road, submitted a letter to mayor and council citing several concerns related to the infrastructure to support the proposed density of the build out.
Fortune pointed out the poor intersection sight lines and the fact that better placement of a pedestrian crossing area will need to be established to support a campground of that size.
“I respect Fortune’s comments. They are well noted,” said Noel.
Rebekka Lim said they are gearing up to apply for permits and to pave Minato Road.