EDITORIAL: Royal Bay a gift for all concerned

Former gravel pit in Colwood has boatloads of potential for city and region

The saga of the Royal Bay lands in Colwood has a lengthy history.

The municipality began looking to create an all-encompassing plan for the future of the 600-acre site long before gravel pit operator Lehigh filled up the last barge and sent it on its way back in 2007.

The original Royal Bay area plan, part of Colwood’s official community plan, dates to 1996. Back then, area politicians and staff decided they had to start thinking ahead and prepare for the day, month, year when the pit would come to the end of its useful life for that purpose. The plan was, in essence, a mine reclamation project.

Times have changed a lot in the years since, with perhaps the biggest difference being the West Shore’s strategic position in the housing continuum of Greater Victoria.

People’s values have changed and what they come to expect has as well, which is why this plan needs a total revamp.

While the existing environmental and natural characteristics of the area must be taken into account and preserved, the Royal Bay lands represent a virtual blank slate on which can be created a model neighbourhood that is the envy of urban planners and designers, not to mention prospective residents, around the Pacific Northwest.

In the end, a redevelopment project such as this comes down to vision, shared by more than just our elected representatives.

The colourful drawings made available by the city offer a sense of the possible for this dazzling piece of real estate, and show that bright minds have been thinking long and hard about the potential for Royal Bay.

This is an area that makes up more than 10 per cent of the land mass of Colwood. It’s therefore crucially important that the city and those who would develop the land use this gift wisely and create something special that will stand the test of time.

The realities of the real estate market will dictate the speed of development, but we don’t want to be here in another 20 years still wondering what might become of the site.

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

Just Posted

Donated sculpture in Sidney’s Beacon Park a testament to perseverance

Victoria artist Armando Barbon picked up sculpting 22 years ago

Greater Victoria businesses come together to help Island kids

Langford Lowe’s raises funds for youth mental health all month

Sidney builds community resilience through neighbourhood gatherings

Meet Your Street needs residents to create gatherings, safe interactions

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Saanich for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read