Grand visions require deep pockets

Grand visions are all very well, but they require practicality, persistence and a balance sheet to become reality

Recently, the PNR published letters from authors Harrison, Gartshore , Doman and Councilor McMurphy, all of them highly critical of the initial refusal of Sandown by Councillors Browne, Mearnes, McBride and Daly. Their letters displayed their ignorance of, or refusal to acknowledge the true facts of the Sandown deal and in Councillor McMurphys’ case, a callous disregard for the taxpayers’ wallet.

Sandown had been for sale for some time with an asking price of  $10 million. The appraised value as is, is $3.9 million (owners’ appraisal 2013).

The value of the 12.5 acres rezoned to commercial is  $11 to $12 million (owners’ appraisal 2013). The value of the residual land is $2.7 million (Districts’ appraisal 2013).

In order to remove 12.5 acres of ALR land, the applicant must include at least an equal portion of land back into the ALR. There was, and is, only one parcel of land in North Saanich which meets the test and that parcel is owned by the taxpayers of North Saanich.

Sandown owners had two options: sell the land intact for the appraised value of $3.9 million, or sell the individual parcels, (to whom and for what price) or they could attempt to strike a deal with North Saanich to get the 12.5 owned by the District to replace the parcel to be re-zoned commercial, and walk away with $12 million.

The reality of high stakes real estate generally entails hard negotiation. To take the first deal offered, as the letter writers suggest, would have been foolishly naive and costly.

Fortunately for the taxpayer, the four councillors possess a high degree of business savvy and knew that it was highly probable that the Sandown owners would come back to the table with a better offer in order to achieve their $12 million prize.

These four, much maligned councillors have demonstrated temperance and common sense and the deal is done. They have saved the taxpayer over three-quarters of a million dollars already, in this first phase of what will be ongoing costs associated with the Sandown project.

Please remember when casting votes next year that grand visions are all very well, but they require practicality, persistence and a balance sheet to become reality.

John Upward

North Saanich

 

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

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Victoria police are investigating after a person broke into and stole a vehicle from a Douglas Street car dealership on the morning of March 3. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Suspect sought after vehicle swiped from Victoria dealership

Suspect broke into Douglas Street dealership shortly before 5 a.m.

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

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

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read