Minette Bay West Concept Plan

What is the Minette Bay West Concept Plan?

The Minette Bay West Concept Plan is a planning and design exercise for 191 hectares of municipal land on the west side of Minette Bay (see below or click here to see a map of the study area). These lands, known as District Lots 95 and 471 or “Minette Bay West”, are designated as a park in Kitimat’s Official Community Plan and are zoned for greenbelt uses, including forestry and environmental preservation. The location presents a significant opportunity to provide public access to the ocean, which is a key priority for Kitimat Council.

                

The intent of this project is to create a concept plan for Minette Bay West that identifies recreational opportunities for residents and tourists while respecting environmentally- and archaeologically-sensitive areas. The plan will be based on public and stakeholder input as well as scientific evidence of site limitations. Once complete in 2017, the Minette Bay West Concept Plan will be used by District staff and Council to guide capital spending for amenities in this new recreational area.

The project team for this endeavour includes the District of Kitimat, Haisla Nation and experts in the areas of biology, archaeology, landscape architecture, forestry and other disciplines. Consultants on this project include: Urban Systems, Kleanza, Silverwood Consulting, McElhanney, Archipelago Marine Research and Murdoch de Greeff Inc.

To ensure that the environmental integrity of the site is preserved, the Minette Bay West Concept Plan is to be based on Green Shores™ principles and guidelines. Green Shores is a program of the Stewardship Centre for British Columbia (SCBC) that promotes sustainable use of shoreline ecosystems. The four Green Shores principles include:

  • Preserve or restore physical processes;
  • Maintain or enhance habitat function and diversity along the shoreline;
  • Prevent or reduce pollutants entering the aquatic environment; and
  • Avoid or reduce cumulative impacts.

The Minette Bay West Concept Plan has been enrolled in the Green Shores for Coastal Development program and it is intended that Green Shores certification be pursued as the project is implemented. Level of certification is to be determined. More information about Green Shores for Coastal Development is available in the Credits and Ratings Guide for Waterfront Properties, 2016 edition.

What is the current status of the project?

        

Phase 3 - Final Plan (February - May 2017)

We are currently reviewing and summarizing community feedback on three concept plan options for the Minette Bay West site. These options were prepared based on community input (see Summary of Community Engagement & Guiding Statements) and site investigation results (see Bio-Inventory & Archaeological Overview Assessment) from Phases 1 and 2. The options represent different approaches to developing the site, ranging from maximizing environmental protection (Option 1) to maximizing recreation opportunities (Option 3). Option 2 represents a balance. A summary table that compares key features of the three options is available here.

The three concept plan options were presented to the community at an Open House on February 28. Details about this event are provided under the "Phase 2 - Concept Planning" heading below. If you missed the event, please click here to view or download the display panels.

On March 13, staff delivered a project update (PowerPoint) presentation and report to Council at a Committee of the Whole Meeting. The intent of the presentation and report was to update Council on the Minette Bay West Concept Planning process. At this meeting, Council approved a motion to extend the survey deadline from March 20 to April 3.

A project booth was set up at the Spring Craft Fair on April 1 at Riverlodge. Staff were available throughout the event to provide information and answer questions about the concept planning process, as well as to encourage community members to fill out our online survey. More information about the survey is provided below.

For approximately one month (March 2 to April 3), the project team collected input on the three concept plan options via an online survey (survey #2). Community members were asked to indicate their preferences for different recreation amenities in the three options and provide comments. Survey #2 closed at 8 am on April 3.

Staff are now in the process of summarizing and analyzing the survey results. All of the community input received in 2017 (through the February 28 Open House, survey #2, booth at the Craft Fair, e-mails, letters, one-on-one conversations, etc.) is being incorporated into an updated Summary of Community Engagement document. Once complete in late April, this document will be presented to Council, posted on this web page and shared with e-mail list subscribers.

The project team is also undertaking a study of bears and bear habitat on the Minette Bay West site. The result of this work will be a summary report, which will be presented to Council and shared with the community. The updated Summary of Community Engagement and bear study findings report will be used by the project team to prepare one final Concept Plan for Minette Bay West. 

Please check back for more updates as Phase 3 progresses.

Phase 2 - Concept Planning (October 2016 - February 2017)

Phase 2 commenced in late October 2016 with the launch of a community survey, followed by a number of opportunities for public input at community events throughout November. District staff had project booths at the Annual Kitimat Fall Craft & Gift Sale, Love Kitimat Trade Show and Light Up Kitimat outdoor festival.

A visioning workshop was held at Kitimat Public Library on November 30 with project stakeholders. Over 40 stakeholders attended the event, including: neighbouring property owners, DOK Advisory Commission members, representatives from local interest and user groups, and others. 

All of the input received throughout Phase 2 was compiled in a Summary of Community Engagement document. The project team used this document and the Phase 1 site investigation findings to develop Guiding Statements for the Minette Bay West site. The Guiding Statements include a vision and eight broad goals, as well as objectives or ways to achieve each goal.

Three concept plan options were prepared based on our Guiding Statements, Summary of Community Engagement and Phase 1 site investigation findings (see Bio-Inventory & Archaeological Overview Assessment). The options represent different approaches to developing the site, ranging from maximizing environmental protection (Option 1) to maximizing recreation opportunities (Option 3). Option 2 represents a balance. A summary table that compares key features of the three options is available here.

The three options were presented to the community for review and comment at an Open House on February 28 at Riverlodge Recreation Centre. District staff and members of Council were available to discuss the planning process; present and explain the three options; and answer questions. Attendees were encouraged to provide feedback through a comment form, face-to-face conversations and a comment board. If you missed the event, you can view or download the display panels here.

Phase 1 - Site Investigation (July - October 2016)

The District of Kitimat began working on Phase 1 in July 2016. Consultants including biologists, archaeologists, landscape architects, foresters and other professionals were engaged to study and document the resources on the site, as well as to identify opportunities and challenges for recreation. Staff from Haisla Nation’s Lands and Resources Department also participated in this work.

In July 2016, a drone was flown over the site to capture high resolution imagery of all 191 hectares. Click here to see a video taken by the drone. Environmental and archaeological site investigation, as well as site inventory and analysis, was undertaken from August to October. Sample photos from our site visits and field work are available below:

An environmental (Bio-Inventory) study and Archaeological Overview Assessment (AOA) were completed in October. Key findings from these studies and the results of other work completed in Phase 1 were presented at a Community Open House on October 26. The event included:

  • Display panels to summarize results of Phase 1 (click here to see the panels);
  • District of Kitimat and consultants present to talk about the project, provide information and answer questions; and
  • A comment board and survey for hand-written feedback.

Opportunities to Get Involved

The project team is currently reviewing and summarizing community feedback received with respect to three concept plan options for the Minette Bay West site. For more information about the three options or the current status of this project, please scroll up to "What is the Current Status of the Project" near the top of this page.

Future opportunities to provide input to the Minette Bay West Concept Planning process will be posted here.

Previous Opportunities - A number of events and engagement opportunities have occurred to date, including: 

  • Phase 1 Community Open House (October 26, 2016);
  • Booths at Annual Kitimat Fall Craft & Gift Sale, Love Kitimat Trade Show, and Light Up Kitimat outdoor festival (November 4, 5, 25 and 27);
  • Community Survey #1 (October 26 - November 28); 
  • Stakeholder Visioning Workshop (November 30);
  • Phase 2 Community Open House (February 28, 2017);
  • Booth at Spring Craft Fair (April 1); and
  • Community Survey #2 (March 2 - April 3).

All of the community input received in 2017 (through the Feb. 28 Open House, survey #2, booth at Spring Craft Fair, e-mails, letters, one-on-one conversations, etc.) is being incorporated into an updated Summary of Community Engagement. This document will build on and include all of the content from an earlier Summary of Community Engagement, which was released January 2017. Once complete in late April, the updated Summary of Community Engagement will be presented to Council, posted on this web page and shared with e-mail list subscribers.

E-mail List - If you would like to be added to our e-mail list for this project, please send a request to dok@kitimat.ca with MBWCP in the subject line. We send e-mails to provide information at key points in the planning process.

Project Resources

The following documents, maps and other resources are intended to provide information and context for this planning process. We will add new resources to the list below as they are developed or collected:

Background 

Phases 1 and 2