A local First Nation purchased a former golf course that was the subject of a legal dispute stretching back years.
Pauquachin First Nation bought the former Glen Meadows Golf and Country Club in North Saanich for $5.38 million, according to a ruling issued last month in Supreme Court of British Columbia. Devencourt had listed the property with an asking price of $5.12 million.
The Criddle family opened the course in the late 1950s after having purchased it as farmland. The family appeared to have found a buyer for the property in the summer 2017, but the buyers failed to follow through on their financial commitments leading to a court-order sale of the golf course, which had stopped operating in 2018.
The agreed upon sales price in 2017 was $4.85 million with the Criddle family agreeing to finance $3.336 million through a mortgage. The Criddle family did not receive any payment when the full amount of the mortgage came due on Dec. 31, 2019 with the court sale ordered in the fall of 2020.
According to the document, the court handling the sale received an unspecified number of “competing bids” for the land, much of which (some 129 acres) lies inside the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) with a smaller portion (2.3 acres) zoned residential. A third lot part of the property includes an irrigation pond.
According to the document, the purchase happened on Feb. 24 with a 60-day completion window following the court’s approval of the deal on March 23. Pauquachin First Nation made its unconditional offer on Jan. 26, followed by negotiations.
This sale (assuming completion) means that Pauquachin First Nation will have purchased a second large piece of land within as many years following the February 2020 purchase of Ardmore Golf Course off West Saanich Road in North Saanich, where it remains in operations as a golf course. The former Glen Meadows Golf and Country Club lies less than a minute’s drive from the Ardmore Golf Course.
It is not clear yet what Pauquachin First Nation plans to do with the property.
The court document, suggests that it will take some effort to rehabilitate the property as it continues to deteriorate.
The document also points to what an appraiser hired by the Criddle family considers the best possible use for the property. The appraiser has found the “highest and best use of the property” would be to add the lot with the irrigation to the lot in the ALR, then subdivide it for agricultural use. The other parcel currently zoned R-3 multi-family residential should be developed as a single-family residential lot or subdivided into two single-family lots as per the official community plan.
The court document also reveals $171,343.84 in outstanding municipal taxes (as of Jan. 26) is owed to the District of North Saanich. “The notice stipulates that the (lands) will be auctioned in a tax sale in September, 2021 if the arrears are not paid,” it reads.
*Editor’s note: The Criddle family was not the property owner at the time the arrears were accumulated. We apologies for any confusion an earlier version of this article may have caused.
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