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, 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 2 - Concept Planning (October 2016 - January 2017)
Phase 2 commenced in late October 2016 with the launch of a community survey. The intent of the survey was to collect information on community priorities and perspectives with respect to recreation opportunities at Minette Bay West. The survey was available online and in hard-copy for over a month (October 26 to November 28). 225 completed responses were received.
In addition to the survey, there were a number of opportunities for public input at community events throughout November. District staff had booths for the Minette Bay West Concept Plan at:
- Annual Kitimat Fall Craft & Gift Sale (Nov. 4 and 5);
- Love Kitimat Trade Show (Nov. 25); and
- Light Up Kitimat outdoor festival (Nov. 27).
District staff spoke with hundreds of community members about the project at these events. Many surveys were handed out and a significant amount of input was received through conversations, interactive displays and comment forms.
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. The event included a presentation, facilitated discussions on key topics and a digital voting exercise on priorities and themes that emerged throughout the evening.
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. The Guiding Statements are intended to be preliminary in nature and may be refined as the planning process progresses.
The project team is now in the process of developing three concept plan options. These options will reflect the Guiding Statements, Summary of Community Engagement and Phase 1 site investigation. Once complete, the options will be presented to the community for review and comment at an Open House on February 28, 2017 at Riverlodge Recreation Centre (3:30-7:30 pm). There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback on the Guiding Statements at the Open House. Additional details about this event are available under the "Opportunities to Get Involved" heading below.
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:
- August 2016 photos
- September 2016 photos - part 1
- September 2016 photos - part 2
- October 2016 photos
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. Over 90 people attended the Open House to learn about Phase 1 and share their thoughts about future recreational use of the Minette Bay West site. 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
Next opportunity - The next opportunity to provide input is an Open House on February 28, 3:30-7:30 pm, in the Joanne Monaghan Community Room at Riverlodge Recreation Centre. Three concept plan options for the Minette Bay West site will be presented for public review and feedback. There will also be an opportunity to provide feedback on the Guiding Statements. Everyone is welcome! Childcare will be provided to Open House attendees at no cost during the event.
Additional opportunities to get involved will follow. Future events and public input opportunities pertaining to this project will be advertised on the "Latest News" section of our municipal website, as well as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We will also post upcoming events and opportunities on our municipal notice boards and at our municipal facilities.
Previous Opportunities - A number of events and engagement opportunities for the Minette Bay West Concept Plan have occurred to date, including:
- Phase 1 Community Open House (Oct. 26);
- Booth at Annual Kitimat Fall Craft & Gift Sale (Nov. 4 and 5);
- Booth at Love Kitimat Trade Show (Nov. 25);
- Booth at Light Up Kitimat outdoor festival (Nov. 27);
- Community survey (Oct. 26 - Nov. 28); and
- Stakeholder Visioning Workshop (Nov. 30).
A Summary of Community Engagement document has been compiled and is available for download here. This document is a compilation of all of the input received through the events and opportunities listed above, as well as e-mails and other methods of correspondence.
E-mail List - If you would like to be added to our e-mail list for this project, please send a request to firstname.lastname@example.org with MBWCP in the subject line. We will send e-mails to inform you about upcoming opportunities to get involved, and to provide information at key points in the planning process.
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:
- Minette Bay West study area map
- District of Kitimat Official Community Plan (2008)
- Historic air photos of Minette Bay and surrounding area (1957-2012)
- Biological Assessment of the Kitimat River Estuary (1974)
- Kitimat Townsite Report (1952) - excerpt
- Kitimat Parks and Recreation Report (1961) - excerpt
- Archaeological Overview Assessment of DL 95 and 471 (Summary) - Kleanza Consulting Ltd.
- Bio-Inventory of DL 95 and 471 - Silverwood Natural Resource Consultants
- New - Summary of Community Engagement (Phases 1 and 2)
- New - Guiding Statements (Vision, Goals and Objectives)