LETTER: North Saanich should honour terms of land donation

I read with interest your recent story on 95-year-old North Saanich resident Gerry Furstenau who has donated a plot of land near Deep Cove School to the District of North Saanich, and to have it named “Wolfgang Orchard” in honour of his brother. Part of the agreement with the District of North Saanich is the lot is to be preserved in its original state.

This past week I read a letter from North Saanich resident Gord Gummer where he questioned the District of North Saanich’s request to have the Panorama Recreation Centre property removed from the Agricultural Land Reserve to prepare for future development. In that case, the land was donated to the District of North Saanich in 1975 for a park and recreational land with the condition the land is kept forever as a park and recreational land and to remain in the ALR.

Building a library (or other non-recreational building on the lot) does not meet the original condition of the donation, either does removing it from the ALR. I agree with Gummer that the District of North Saanich needs to honour the agreement they established with the donor 45 years ago.

Gerry, I hope your donated property does not meet the same fate in 45 years when there is a new council with new ideas for your property. I plead with the residents of North Saanich not to sit idly by and let this council do what they want when they want. Everyone needs to wake up and understand what your mayor and council are up to. I encourage everyone who hasn’t read Gummer’s letter, to read it online on the Peninsula News Review website.

I for one will be taking Gummer’s advice and will be writing to the Agricultural Land Commission at alc.island@gov.bc.ca and provide them with the reasons why I oppose the application by the district to remove Panorama Recreation Centre from the Agricultural Land Reserve.

G. Brown

North Saanich

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