Two forested properties and a road next to Mount Douglas Park (highlighted) were created in 1912

Two forested properties and a road next to Mount Douglas Park (highlighted) were created in 1912

100-year-old lots added to Mount Doug park

Saanich has added two tiny lots to Mount Douglas, but the purchase could have an outsized influence on keeping the park pristine.

Saanich has added two tiny lots to the vast forest of Mount Douglas, and the purchase could have an outsized influence on keeping the park pristine.

On Friday, the municipality announced it bought two undeveloped single-family properties, about one third of an acre total, for $298,000. Both are indistinguishable from parkland, and are curious relics of history.

Saanich created properties in 1912, but they’ve never been touched. They’re attached to Cordova Bay Road via Westbank Street, a 200 metre long, 20 metre wide strip of property that is more forest and rock bluff than road.

Last spring, survey flags appeared on Westbank Street and the two properties, prompting concern from the Cordova Bay Association and the Friends of Mount Douglas Park Society. Both organizations called on Saanich to buy the land.

The Friends of Mount Doug also conducted a “soundscape survey” of Mount Doug this year, and determined the Westbank property abutted one of the quietest areas of the park, mainly due to the cliff, forest and terrain blocking noise from the road.

“It’s fantastic. I’m jumping for joy,” said Darrell Wick, president of the Friends of Mount Doug and who led the soundscape survey. “That is an important acquisition. If you developed (Westbank) road you’d make a sound channel right into the park. We are delighted council saw fit to do this.”

In a press release, Saanich acknowledged the land purchase is significant in preserving the “natural quiet” of the park, as determined by the soundscape survey.

“(Friends of Mount Doug) brought the land to our attention and brought the sound study to our attention. It’s a factor, but I think we would have acquired the land regardless,” said Mayor Frank Leonard. “It’s not a lot of land, but it’s consistent with what we’ve been doing for at least 20 years in terms of land available on the slopes of Mount Doug.”

The purchase of the two lots effectively ends any purpose to the theoretical Westbank Street. That acre of land will also become part of Mount Doug park, Leonard said, although it may technically remain a gazetted road for the near future.

Saanich used $298,000 accrued from income from the telecommunications tower atop Mount Doug to buy the two properties.

editor@saanichnews.com

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Victoria police are investigating after a person broke into and stole a vehicle from a Douglas Street car dealership on the morning of March 3. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Suspect sought after vehicle swiped from Victoria dealership

Suspect broke into Douglas Street dealership shortly before 5 a.m.

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read