The Komas Bluffs covenant area is 41 hectares (101.3 acres). The covenant area is located along the northern coast of Denman Island encompassing many private properties. The larger land parcels that include the covenant area have been zoned by the Islands Trust to be subdivided into rural residential lots. The Komas Bluff covenant is currently registered on eight land titles. Further subdivision of two of these titles is anticipated. The covenant was granted to the DCA as part of the settlement of a legal suit brought against the area’s former owner 4064 Investments Ltd. The forest on the portion of the bluffs covered by the covenant was saved from logging in 1984 by community protest. see: komas-bluffs-logging-1984
According to Taara Environmental who undertook the Baseline Study of the covenant area, “The ecological significance of the covenant area cannot be overstated.” It is a mix of ecologically sensitive features – rock and sediment coastal cliffs, increasingly rare old vet trees and older second growth; snags and fallen trees for seasonal or periodic wildlife habitat; one blue-listed species – the Red-legged Frog, and several red listed ecosystems — Douglas fir/dull Oregon-grape plant association, and a small Douglas-fir/arbutus ecosystem. Though the covenant area does not contain any water bodies, its Quadra Sands contain what hydrologists speculate is the largest groundwater aquifer on Denman Island. As well, the Bluff ecosystem is an important component of the diverse and highly productive inter-tidal and sub-tidal region of the Strait of Georgia in that vicinity.
The terms of the Komas Bluff covenant are complex as they anticipate residential use in the area and attempt to mediate the interface between such use and protection of the covenant area’s natural amenities. For example, in very strictly defined circumstances, the covenant does allow for alterations to the covenant area, for example, to create sight lines (not a panoramic view) towards the horizon for a residence, one accessory building and 1 viewpoint. Such alterations can only be made with the approval of the covenant holder, and its review of such proposal will include numerous environmental factors over and above any factors the Islands Trust might employ to issue a permit for alterations to this area, the covenant area being entirely contained within an Islands Trust Development Permit Area. Because of the anticipated residential use of the area, “No right of access by the general public to any portion of the Land is conveyed or granted by [the] Agreement.”
Komas Bluffs Covenant (FAQ)