Plans to build a new trail through Port Clements have hit a surprise twist.
It appears that in 1983, B.C.’s transportation ministry set aside a right-of-way for Alder Avenue that is 100-feet wide — three times wider than previously thought.
“If there is 100 feet of right-of-way there, it definitely opens up our options,” said Port Clements Mayor Ian Gould, speaking at a Sept. 6 council meeting.
Village councillors had planned to route part of the new trail just outside the Alder Avenue right-of-way.
The whole trail would complete an unfinished section of trail in Sunset Park, and connect three of the village’s main attractions — Sunset Park, Community Park, and the Port Clements Museum.
A construction contract and Gwaii Trust grant have already been awarded to build the trail.
But looking at the existing Alder Avenue option, some residents with property adjacent to the right-of-way have said it would pass too close to their yards.
Gloria O’Brien told councillors she was disturbed that strangers might walk a trail so close to where her grandkids play.
Provincial staff need to confirm the details, but if the Alder Avenue right-of-way is indeed 100-feet wide, then the trail route would move 66 feet further from those properties — far enough that it could meander through some larger conifers, rather than the alders the undeveloped Alder Avenue is named for.
Kim Mushynsky, Port Clements’ chief administrative officer, said the larger right-of-way should be confirmed in time for council’s next meeting on Sept. 20.