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

 

Just Posted

Kay Gallivan paints a mural on the east wall of North Park’s Tiny Home Village (Kiernan Green / Victoria News Staff)
North Park Tiny Home Village opens at Royal Athletic Park lot to 30 unhoused

Residents will settle into new private units and the North Park community over the weekend

Carey Newman resigned from the Greater Victoria School District’s Indigenous Ad Hoc Committee May 13, citing ‘a pattern of systemic racism.’ (Black Press Media file photo)
‘Pattern of systemic racism’: SD61 Indigenous committee member resigns, calls for change

More than 350 people had added their names in support by midday Friday

The woman also received distracted driving tickets in 2018 and 2019. (Black Press File Photo)
Oak Bay driver gets third distracted driving ticket in four years

Officer caught the woman using her phone while at the wheel

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

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 May 11

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

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
MISSING: Salt Spring RCMP find woman’s car, still seek Island resident

Sinikka Gay Elliott is 5’3” with a slim build and dark brown short hair

A Saanich man received almost 10 years in Supreme Court in Courtenay for a shooting incident from 2018. Record file photo
Shooting incident on Island nets almost 10-year sentence

Saanich man was arrested without incident north of Courtenay in 2018

Bradley Priestap in an undated photo provided to the media some time in 2012 by the London Police Service.
Serial sex-offender acquitted of duct tape possession in B.C. provincial court

Ontario sex offender on long-term supervision order was found with one of many ‘rape kit’ items

Rich Coleman, who was responsible for the gaming file off and on from 2001 to 2013, was recalled after his initial testimony to the Cullen Commission last month. (Screenshot)
Coleman questioned over $460K transaction at River Rock during B.C. casinos inquiry

The longtime former Langley MLA was asked about 2011 interview on BC Almanac program

Steven Shearer, <em>Untitled. </em>(Dennis Ha/Courtesy of Steven Shearer)
Vancouver photographer’s billboards taken down after complaints about being ‘disturbing’

‘Context is everything’ when it comes to understanding these images, says visual art professor Catherine Heard

Most Read