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Victoria Hospice bows out of Saanich land purchase citing waterway worries

Search continues for suitable site for ‘modern campus of care’
Victoria Hospice Society continues to seek a new site after bowing out of a Saanich land purchase from School District 61. (Courtesy Victoria Hospice)

Concerns over an adjacent waterway may have changed the course of Victoria Hospice in its search for a new site.

Victoria Hospice withdrew its proposal to purchase a 1.3-acre parcel of land on Richmond Road from School District 61 (SD61) for a new hospice site, effective Oct. 27.

“After careful consideration, we have determined that the Richmond Road site is not the right location for our new facility,” board chair Trudi Brown said in a statement. “We appreciate the input we have received from the community that helped us reach this decision and we remain committed to finding a new location where we can continue to offer compassionate end-of-life care.”

RELATED: School board land sale for Victoria Hospice clears first hurdles

Engagement with the Friends of Bowker Creek, the Bowker Creek Initiative, the Camosun Community Association and neighbours was key to informing the organization’s decision to withdraw the proposal, the agency said. Several groups voiced concern over the creek during early conversations about the purchase in 2021.

“Victoria Hospice is built on community and lasting relationships, and we understand the concerns raised about the potential impact of development around Bowker Creek,” Brown said. “We want to celebrate any new location in partnership with the community and look forward to doing so in the future.”

During its March 14, 2022 meeting, SD61 approved the bylaw required to sell the back portion of 2780 Richmond Rd. – adjacent to the Lansdowne Middle School South Campus – to Victoria Hospice Society for $2.5 million.

RELATED: Greater Victoria school board approves land sale near Saanich school, creek

Subdivision of the site was part of an agreement for the potential purchase of the property from School District 61. Victoria Hospice submitted a subdivision application to the District of Saanich on Sept. 15, which allowed the organization to gain more information about developing the site.

Victoria Hospice, which has led quality palliative and end-of-life care since 1980, continues its search for a new site with the nearly 80-year old Richmond Pavilion building on the Royal Jubilee Hospital campus deemed inappropriate for redevelopment or expansion.

“We are exploring all available options in our ongoing search for a new location and modern campus of care for the community,” Brown said.

About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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