Crystal Mountain Rezoning page

Crystal Mountain – A Society for Eastern and Western Studies (CMS) is a registered charitable, educational organization incorporated in 1976. A non-profit Society may be registered as a Canadian charity only if its purposes are exclusively for the public benefit.

The purpose of the Society is to promote the development of the wholesome, clear, interested mind through study, meditation, and compassionate work.

CMS is proposing land use for the establishment of an all-season Forest Retreat Meditation Centre to support meditative activities while maintaining and restoring the forest back to its pristine state.

The goal of the Centre is to provide public access to appropriately scaled retreat facilities that will allow retreatants to abide in a forest environment, meeting only their most basic needs in simple, low-cost structures with minimal infrastructure.

The intention is to provide suitable facilities for up to thirty participants. The site is located in the north of Galiano Island at the end of Devina Drive, on Lot 9 and Lot A.

The proposal relocates the residential density of Lot 9 to adjoining Lot A, and combines it with the density of an F3 zoned lot. No subdivision of the land is proposed; the amalgamation of Lots 9 and A provides increased protected forest contiguous with the BC Parks DL 87.

The proposal also secures a Statutory Right of Way road for Public Emergency Access through Lot A as identified in the Galiano Land Use Bylaw Schedule C.

Three areas comprise the entirety of the Forest Retreat Centre: a Facility area for common infrastructure, an Integrated area for Forest Management, and a Reserve area for protection.

There is currently no existing zone in the Land Use Bylaw (LUB) that fits this proposal. Therefore, a new zone would need to be created.  The proposed Forest Retreat Meditation Centre includes the following provisions:

●      A Sustainable Forest Management Plan (SFMP) incorporating recommendations in the Ecosystem-based Land-use Plan (Appendix B) will be registered by covenant on the land base. Implementation of the SFMP will direct development to the most impacted parts of the landscape and by using a variety of treatments:
●      increase and protect forest contiguity;
●      preserve rural character, sensitive areas, and areas of old growth;
●      remove invasive species and
●      restore the forest for species health and diversity.

The hydrological report, sewage treatment design, and structural equivalencies have been used to determine a sustainable capacity.

    The proposed infrastructure and building design features clustered structures, low impact ‘green’ buildings, alternative water saving measures, and effective environmentally safe waste recycling and disposal will be incorporated in the plan. The facilities will be appropriate to support all weather use and developed in stages.

Sustainability and respect for the Galiano Island and Islands Trust policy is key to the creation of the Crystal Mountain Society Forest Retreat Meditation Centre.


What made this time so rich for me was a combination of many things: sleeping on the earth, close to the ground, listening to the rhythm of nature, tuning in to insects, birds, tiny green tree frogs on the tent, sounds of the wind in the trees, dawn and high noon, mosquitos at dusk, more stars than one could imagine, even rain seemed different during those few days in the forest.
And the deep silence of being with others and not talking was so refreshing. The opportunity to be in this place silently with others for communal meals, sharing the chores of cooking, cleaning and laundry, was restorative, nurturing, just what I needed. Lama Mark’s generous teachings provided me with an anchor in my life.  Nancy McPhee