North Saanich approved plans to subdivide the former Sandown Race Track site. Canadian Tire has applied to build a store on the commercial portion of the land. (File)

North Saanich asked to pay $640,000 for Sandown drainage

Deadline Nov. 14 for former race track reclamation plan

A deadline for the owner of a former horse racing track in North Saanich to have a final reclamation plan complete is fast approaching and now they’re turning to the municipality to pay for drainage work.

Platform Properties, the development company acting on behalf of the Randall Family, owners of the Sandown property, is asking that the District of North Saanich pay $569,000 to address water runoff issues around the 95 acre property — and another $65,000 towards a new culvert crossing an adjacent road.

If the work is not done, it could jeopardize the transfer of a large portion of the land to the municipality.

Councillor Geoff Orr says the District is currently considering its options and councillors plan to meet again this week to consider additional information about the drainage issues and how much of it is their responsibility.

Stemming from engineering work done by Platform Properties in the course of meeting conditions set out by the Agricultural Land Commission, Orr said the company has asked the District to pay the cost of dealing with water runoff issues. Those ALC requirements must be met before they will allow the removal of approximately 12 acres from the Agricultural Land Reserve for commercial development — and allow the rest of the property to be turned over to the municipality.

The ALC set Nov. 14 as the deadline for their conditions to be met by Platform Properties.

Orr said this is a separate issue from runoff caused by the commercial development itself. The proponent, he explained, has already made plans to deal with the direct runoff from its plans. This latest issue, he continued, is about stormwater management from what will become District property, to North Saanich’s current drainage through the McDonald Park industrial area.

“The question is, how to make up for the estimated 9,500 cubic meters of displaced water,” Orr said.

Plans presented to council this week call for berms, ditches and other water flow features and controls to help funnel existing high water levels in the ground and on the surface, into drainage with enough capacity to handle it. The District, he continued, is being asked to pay $65,000 for a $90,000 box culvert on Glamorgan Road. The developer would pay the remaining $30,000.

The District is also being asked to come up with $569,000 to pay for stormwater management on the Sandown land “to address capacity constraint on the McDonald Park Road drain.” Proposals from District staff to council have the money coming out of their general infrastructure reserve and the developer would do the work.

Orr said the issue of stormwater drainage and capacity through the McDonald Park Road area is known to the District. He said an early 2000s report has been referenced by staff and by the developer, regarding drainage issues in the area. That, said Orr, is something council wants more information on this week. He said it appears while the issue has existed for some time, it’s never been made a priority in their financial plan. It’s only been pushed to the fore in the wake of the Sandown reclamation and drainage plan for the commercial development.

In normal circumstances, Orr said the District requires developers to pay for site services (including drainage) created by their projects. In this case, the matter is being presented as a pre-existing District issue that North Saanich hadn’t contemplated in its long-term financial plan.

The proponent’s reclamation and drainage plan was approved by the ALC at the end of September and was approved by North Saanich council Monday night. That approval, however, is appraently linked to the stormwater issue, Orr said.

That means without a decision on the stormwater costs, the entire deal could be stalled. As well, the looming ALC deadline — and an apparent deadline with Canadian Tire, the site’s first tenant — has the developer asking council for a quick decision, something Orr said he personally wasn’t happy with.

“There have been negotiations (between Platform and District staff) and the challenge is these are the sort of things that happen out of open council meetings,” he said, adding had his repeated requests for more information about Sandown negotiations been heeded, council might not have been blindsided by this latest request.

Council had plans to meet Thursday, Oct. 19 to try to reach a decision on the money request.

The Randall Family has already agreed to pay more than $800,000 to demolish buildings and clean up the former race track, in exchange for the 12 acres of commercial land. Orr added council is hearing from Platform those costs have increased significantly, but have yet to see details.

Orr said he’s estimating the cost of site reclamation, all told, could exceed $2 million.

 

An artist’s rendering of a now-defunct proposal for a shopping centre at the the former Sandown horse racing track in North Saanich. New plans have the site developing over two phases and already Canadian Tire has applied to build a store in the area. (File)

Just Posted

Bike dragged several blocks after hit and run

Wheel-less bike dragged underneath van along Dallas Rd. after cyclist hit

WATCH: Moms Stop The Harm respond to opioid crisis

Someone asked her if she does the work for her son. McBain said: “No, actually. I do it for your son.”

Millstream Road closed to traffic at Bear Mountain Parkway

Downed hydro pole blocking both lanes at Industrial Way

Man arrested at gunpoint outside Vic High

Police were called after he allegedly threatened a teacher with a knife

Skydiver lands safely after cutting away main chute

Central Saanich emergency services called after witnesses saw spiralling chute

VIDEO: B.C. ‘escapologist’ stuns judges on Britain’s Got Talent

Matt Johnson says televised water stunt was closest he’s come to death

NAFTA talks hold Foreign Affairs Minister in Washington, substitute heads to NATO summit

NAFTA talks keeping Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland, sends substitute to NATO summit

Britain gives long-lost Franklin expedition ships to Canada, Inuit

Deeds to HMS Erebus and HMS Terror signed over to Canada and Inuit Heritage Trust

Grief over deadly Toronto van attack sinks in

Three days after rampage, people still gathering at memorial to lay flowers and honour victims

Liberals urged to tax e-commerce services like Netflix

Trudeau has been adamant that his government wouldn’t increase taxes on online subscriptions

Why some B.C. daycares didn’t opt in to subsidy program

Deadline passes for program aimed at laying foundation for universal child care

Charges follow collisions between pickup and police vehicles in Nanaimo

Majore Jackson, 32, and Andrew John Bellwood, 47, from Nanaimo, face numerous charges

Been a long day? Here’s cute puppies in training

Group is training next batch of assistance dogs at Vancouver International Airport

Most Read