The District of Saanich and B.C. Hydro continue to negotiate over a piece of surplus land that could become a permanent public park.
Ted Olynyk, regional manager for community relations on Vancouver Island for B.C. Hydro, said the Crown corporation remains in discussions with Saanich about Kings Park, the informal title for a piece of land between Kings Road and Haultain Street.
Several groups have lobbied Saanich to purchase the surplus land that B.C. Hydro has appraised at $6 million for the purpose of turning it into a public park — an agenda also favoured Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes and several councillors.
The Crown corporation entered discussions with Saanich after the provincial government, other Crown corporations and First Nations had declined their respective options to purchase the 5.5-acre property located in Saanich near its borders with Oak Bay and Victoria.
If Saanich and B.C. Hydro fail to reach an agreement, the property will become available on the open market.
“If an agreement is reached with Saanich then there will be no need to have discussions with others,” Olynyk said. “Right now we are focused on reaching an agreement with Saanich.”
B.C. Hydro has owned the land for more than 60 years, but announced its sale earlier this year.
Its central core is zoned P2 for utility zone, which permits such things as an ambulance or fire hall, or underground pump station, while the street fronts along both Kings Road and Haultain Street are zoned for single-family lots, likely to fetch millions on the open market.