Rebecca Sterritt has been among the prominent supporters of plans to turn surplus land owned by the B.C. Hydro into a public park. (Submitted photo)

Rebecca Sterritt has been among the prominent supporters of plans to turn surplus land owned by the B.C. Hydro into a public park. (Submitted photo)

Saanich, B.C. Hydro remain silent over surplus land negotiations

Municipality wants to turn lot into a park

Saanich and BC Hydro continue to negotiate over land slated for public use, but both sides remain silent over details.

Ted Olynyk, regional manager for community relations on Vancouver Island for BC Hydro, said talks with Saanich over Kings Park — the informal name of land the utility owns between Kings Road and Haultain Street — continue.

But Olynyk said he could not discuss details, echoing Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, who declined to answer a series of questions about the file.

BC Hydro considers the 5.5-acre property near the Oak Bay and Victoria border surplus and wants to sell it.

The Crown corporation entered discussions with Saanich after the provincial government, other Crown corporations and First Nations declined their respective options to purchase the land valued at $6 million. If Saanich and B.C. Hydro fail to reach an agreement, the property will enter the open market.

A number of groups have called on Saanich to purchase the land to turn it into a park and Haynes identified its transformation into a public park a top priority in echoing comparable calls from other members of council.

“Council needs to get its head around that,” he said on the day of his election. “I believe it’s a strong commitment to the future of Saanich, to have the opportunity for densification, balanced with green space in an appropriate way for our children’s children, so that 50 years from now, they can look back and be proud of this council.”

But if Saanich officials have expressed an eagerness to see a park in the area, officials with the utility have also tempered expectations.

Olynyk said in an interview that the utility must protect the financial interests of its ratepayers regardless of where they live in confirming earlier comments downplaying expectations of a discount for the District.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

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

Just Posted

BC Housing ensures that by March 31, shelter will be available to all people living outside. (Black Press Media file photo)
All unhoused Victoria residents will be offered shelter by March 31, says BC Housing

BC Housing working to secure shelter locations in coming weeks

Robert Schram, here seen in January 2016, died Saturday, according to a friend. (Black Press Media file photo)
Sidney, Saanich Peninsula mourn the death of Mr. Beads

Bead artist Robert Schram was a familiar, well-loved figure in Sidney and beyond

Cathy Armstrong, executive director of the Land Conservancy, Paul Nursey CEO of Destination Greater Victoria and Saanich Coun. Susan Brice helped to kick off the annual Greater Victoria Flower Count at Abkhazi Garden Monday. This year, the flower count is less about rubbing the region’s weather in the rest of Canada’ faces, and more about extending a bouquet of compassion and love. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
2021 Greater Victoria Flower Count sows seeds of compassion

Friendly flower count competition runs from March 3 to 10

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in hit-and-run

Investigation into death expected to be lengthy and involved

(Black Press file photo)
Child in critical condition, homicide investigators probe incident near Agassiz

The child was transported to hospital but is not expected to survive

Sewage plant in Lower Mainland, operated by Metro Vancouver. (Metro Vancouver screenshot)
‘Poop tracker’ launches as researchers test Lower Mainland sewage water for COVID-19

‘Studying the virus in wastewater allows researchers to look at an entire population…’

Most Read