Denman Island Chocolate Ltd. covenant area is 1.7 ha (4.2 acres). The property is the new home of the Denman Island Chocolate factory which occupies a site on the crest of a bluff with rocky outcrops overlooking Baynes Sound and the Beaufort mountain range on Vancouver Island. The covenant area occupies the top of the bluff and approximately 0.6 hectares down the steep slope to the westerly boundary of the property. Among the property owner’s intentions in registering this covenant is to demonstrate the compatibility between the operation of a viable commercial enterprise and the preservation of green space, maintenance of natural diversity and ecological balance. The conservation covenant honours the owner’s late wife, Ruth Terry, who was an ardent supporter of the Denman Conservancy Association.
Special features of the covenant area include the rare and endangered (red-listed) Douglas fir/arbutus association along the ridge and the blue-listed Coastal Wood Fern.
The covenant document itself contains a number of notable clauses. The property has the potential for a spectacular view, but the owner has chosen to prevent the establishment of a panoramic (unbroken or unimpeded) view of the horizon by means of clear-cut tree removal. In contrast to site preparation methods that remove all trees prior to construction, in this case, upon completion of the factory, the owner assessed the viewscape from the building to determine which trees might be selectively removed and submitted a cutting plan to DCA for approval. The covenant prevents tree topping though limbing and pruning may occur under certain conditions. All living portions of arbutus, dogwood or Garry oak trees must be left undisturbed and as much as is reasonably possible, the owner must retain dead standing trees so as to provide high value wildlife habitat. The penalty clause for violating the terms of the covenant is also unique and has significant deterrent value. The penalty is a sum equal to 25% of the fair market value of the bare land for each violation of the covenant in a calendar year.
The covenant does not provide a right of public access to the covenant area.