Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes and Saanich council voted to purchase the B.C. Hydro land between Kings Road and Haultain Street for $5.5 million. Council is now hoping to raise $2.75 million to offset the purchase and keep all 2.2 hectares as parkland or sell a section of the park to offset the costs. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Saanich in agreement to purchase Kings Road land for $5.5 million

Saanich hope to raise $2.75 million to offset purchase

Saanich has agreed to purchase BC Hydro’s 2.2-hectare parcel of land between Kings Road and Haultain Street for $5.5 million but is seeking to raise an additional $2.75 million in funding from the public.

“If Saanich council is unable to raise this amount to offset the incurred debt, Saanich intends to dispose of a portion of the property to recuperate some of the cost,” said spokesperson Kelsie McLeod.

“We heard from residents over the last several months that this property is a crucial part of their community,” said Mayor Fred Haynes. “It’s important that we balance our commitment to fiscal responsibility with the needs of the community, so we’re asking for support to help us raise funds to cover the cost of this property.”

READ ALSO: B.C. Hydro to offer sale of Kings Road land to Saanich

The parcel is listed as 1843 and 1845 Kings Rd. and also at 2661 Richmond Rd., where there is a small trail access.

Saanich entered the conditional agreement with BC Hydro to purchase the large, unique piece of land in an effort to respond to the needs of the community and capitalize on future opportunities, said the news release. Decisions about land use – including the possibility of park or development use – will be made in the future, mostly based on the ability to raise the $2.75 million, Haynes said.

In order to cover the cost of the land purchase, Saanich will consider a financial plan amendment to establish borrowing approximately $4 million toward the purchase price. The payments for this loan are provided for within the existing debt servicing budget. The other $1.5 million will come from reserve funds.

Money could come from the CRD, Oak Bay, Victoria and environmental agencies looking to protect the sensitive Bowker Creek that runs through the property.

“The initial ask was $6 million and our staff did a brilliant job of negotiating down to $5.5 million,” Haynes said. “During the last election campaign [current] councillors heard from the community that this is an important piece of greenspace, one of the last pieces of unprotected urban greenspaces in the region.

“I’m proud to say Saanich council walked the walk on this.”

BC Hydro has owned the property since 1958 and recently determined it is surplus to its needs. It offered the land to the provincial government, Crown agencies and local First Nations, before Saanich accepted the opportunity to purchase it.

Assuming the sale goes through, Saanich would take possession in late summer or early fall of this year.

A neighbourhood group rallied to gain Saanich’s interest in the property as it was only deemed surplus in 2018.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Home care transition could exacerbate worker shortage: Seniors advocate

Advocate fears impact of eight-hour shift model on an industry under stress

United Way to recognize outstanding community members

The annual Spirit Awards celebration will feature 13 award recipients

Rickter Scale: More smoke and secondhand hindsight

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

How worried should we be about the bees?

One bee species hasn’t been seen since 1990

WATCH: Police call Happy Valley shooting an ‘isolated and targeted’ incident

One person in custody, another fled following crash on Kelly Road

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

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

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

‘B.C. cannot wait for action’: Top doctor skips feds, urges province to decriminalize illicit drugs

Dr. Bonnie Henry says current approach in ‘war on drugs’ has criminalized and stigmatized drug users

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C. man turned to dating site for pimp operation, court hears

In court the details of how Simon Rypiak lured 4 women into prostitution revealed

Tofino beckons Trudeau for quiet Easter vacation

Environmental group hopes latest Pacific Rim vacation inspires change in prime minister

Should B.C. parents receive money if they make sure their kids are vaccinated?

New survey looks at public opinion around government’s role in forcing immunizations

‘Cutthroat’ sport of wine tasting happening in B.C.

BC Tasting Games are underway with competitions in three Okanagan communities.

Most Read