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Rezoning

Crystal Mountain – A Society for Eastern and Western Studies (CMS) is a registered charitable, non-profit, 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. Programs are designed to support retreat practice in a natural environment removed from the associated patterns of daily life.

CMS is proposing land use for the establishment of an all-season Forest Retreat Meditation Centre while preserving 75% of the land-base through the transfer of title to the Islands Trust Conservancy. 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 their most basic needs in simple, low-cost structures with minimal infrastructure. The intention is to provide suitable facilities for up to 22 overnight guests. The site is located in the north of Galiano Island at the end of Devina Drive, on Lot 9 and Lot A, both of which are owned outright by the Society. In November 2020, CMS engaged Keith Erickson (Registered Professional Biologist & Private Environmental Consultant) as our Project Manager to help guide us toward making the best possible environmental decisions while moving our rezoning proposal forward.

The proposal relocates the residential density of Lot 9 to adjoining Lot A, and combines it with the proposed density all sited on Proposed Remainder Lot A. The amalgamation of Lots 9 and A provides increased protected forest contiguous with DL 87 which is protected by the Ministry of the Environment. 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. 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 Forest Retreat Meditation Centre facilities located on 6.14 hectares (15 acres) of land will consist of:

Lower Level:

Meditation Hall (125 m2)
Kitchen/ Dining Hall ( 125m2)
Bath house / Laundry (70m2)
Workshop/Storage (70m2)
2x long-term meditation sleeping hut (21 m2)
12x meditation/sleeping (15m2)
Caretakers Building (80 m2)
5 x seasonal tent platform (14m2)
Total Lower Level (856 m2)

Upper Level:

3x long term meditation/sleeping huts
Kitchen/bath/laundry -(one building)
Storage Building
Total Upper Level (965 m2)

(See Site Map for visual display of proposed layout of the Forest Meditation Retreat Centre)

Proposed building features would include:


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 OCP and Islands Trust Policy is key to the creation of the Crystal Mountain Society Forest Retreat Meditation Centre.

If you would like to help us realize our Rezoning Initiative, please visit our Donations Page.

Testimonial

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