Bridging opportunity

The new Johnson Street bridge opens up new land and unwelcome debate

The fate of half a hectare

The fate of half a hectare

As the city straightens out the s-curve entrance to Vic West, a large chunk of prime municipal land will open up.

It’s a 52,000-square-foot bonus, resulting from the  realignment of a new Johnson Street Bridge. It’s also an opportunity to revisit the gateway to Vic West

Any option would be an improvement: currently pedestrians and cyclists are greeted by poorly-lit sidewalks. Fenced lots nearby lend few ears and eyes.

“The community would like to have that as park area, rather than commercial area,” said community association president Nan Judd. “Something not just our Vic West community can enjoy but the whole community.”

Mayor Dean Fortin also wants no uncertainty on the issue.

Green space, however, is not the only option.

Selling all, or a portion of the land is still possible.

Revenue from the sale, plus annual property taxes, could offset some of the debt incurred in building the $77-million bridge. (The larger, but nearest neighbour, the Delta Ocean Pointe, pays over half  a million in property taxes).

Until now, however, the issue has been left undebated.

“This was something that has not had any type of discussion that I can recall at the table,” said project director, Mike Lai at a council meeting Thursday.

“It needs to be discussed,” said Coun. Geoff Young. There are a whole range of options, he said, pointing out the property need not be considered as a single parcel.

“I think it would be totally reasonable for us to get a report back from staff … before we make a decision in principle on an entire chunk of land which we don’t even know at this point … how much it’s worth.”

A land sale could offer “more of an urban connection between the Songhees and the downtown,” Young said. “To me, what you want is some kind of animation.”

rholmen@vicnews.com

What do you think?

Give us your comments by email: editor@vicnews.com. All letters must have a name and a telephone number for verification.

 

 

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

Just Posted

Carolyn Howe, a kindergarten teacher and vice president of the Greater Victoria Teachers’ Association, says educators are feeling the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic and the influx of pressure that comes with it. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Stress leave, tears and insomnia: Greater Victoria teachers feel the strain of COVID-19

One year in, teachers still adjusting to mask and cleaning rules, pressure from families

The value of new construction in North Saanich topped $52.1 million in 2020 (Peninsula News Review)
Value of new construction in North Saanich topped $52.1 million in 2020

New figures also show 25 per cent increase in number of new secondary suites

Various Victoria locations were hit with a slew of anti-bylaw graffiti Wednesday. This image has been altered to cover up profane language. (Submitted photo)
UPDATED: Slew of anti-bylaw graffiti an ‘unacceptable’ form of communication says Victoria mayor, police

Downtown businesses, bylaw office and Ministry of Finance vandalized Wednesday morning

The Gordon Head Recreation Centre stands in as the Quimper Regional Hospital on Feb. 23 for filming Maid, a 10-part Netflix series. (Greg Sutton/District of Saanich)
Netflix transforms Saanich recreation centre into hospital for filming

Facility was closed to public Feb. 23 for filming of Maid

Dr. Bonnie Henry talk about the next steps in B.C.'s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
456 new COVID-19 cases in B.C., 2 deaths

Since January 2020, 78,278 have tested positive for the novel coronavirus in B.C.

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 Feb. 23

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

(Black Press Media File Photo)
POLL: Are you struggling with Greater Victoria’s cost of housing?

While Victoria remains one of the most expensive cities in the country… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Vaccinating essential workers before seniors in B.C. could save lives: experts

A new study says the switch could also save up to $230 million in provincial health-care costs

Photograph By @KAYLAXANDERSON
VIDEO: Lynx grabs lunch in Kamloops

A lynx surprises a group of ducks and picks one off for lunch

When his owner had knee surgery, Kevin, 2, was able to continue to go for walks thanks to volunteers from Elder Dog Canada. (Contributed photo)
B.C. woman has nothing but praise for Elder Dog Canada

National organization has a fleet of volunteer walkers ready, but needs more clients to serve

Two women were arrested in Nanaimo for refusing to wear masks and causing disturbance on a BC Ferries vessel. (File photo)
B.C. ferry passengers arrested and fined for disturbance, refusing to wear masks

Police said woman threatened their pensions in Feb. 21 incident aboard Nanaimo-bound boat

A Nanaimo RCMP vehicle in the Woodgrove Centre parking lot. (News Bulletin file photo)
Woman groped by stranger in mall parking lot in Nanaimo

Incident happened near bus loop Saturday, Feb. 20, at about 4:45 p.m.

The late Michael Gregory, 57, is accused of sexually exploiting six junior high students between 1999 and 2005. (Pixabay)
Former Alberta teacher accused of sexually assaulting students found dead in B.C.

Mounties say Michael Gregory’s death has been deemed ‘non-suspicious’

Most Read