Propped up on milk crates, neighbour Rebecca Sterritt speaks to the benefits the Kings Road BC Hydro land would have as a park. Submitted

Propped up on milk crates, neighbour Rebecca Sterritt speaks to the benefits the Kings Road BC Hydro land would have as a park. Submitted

BC Hydro to offer sale of Kings Road land to Saanich

Preserving land as park ‘a no-brainer,’ says neighbour

BC Hydro plans to offer the chunk of land between Kings Road and Haultain Street to the District of Saanich.

When and how much the initial offering price would be for the 5.5 acres are yet to be determined. Any price figures will be kept behind closed doors by Saanich council as it handles all land acquisitions in camera.

However, there is good reason to believe that Saanich is interested, said Rebecca Sterritt, a neighbour who helped organize more than 200 people for a Sept. 16 Kings Road block party. The party also served as a rally to have either Saanich or the CRD purchase the land and preserve it as a park.

“We have five of the current councillors saying they’re supportive of the [Hydro land] being acquired and preserved, plus candidates,” Sterritt said. “Most have said they are supportive.”

Ted Olynyk, BC Hydro community relations, said the official liquidation process of the land has moved from offering it to crown corporations to First Nations, and will now be offered to local municipal governments, which could include the CRD.

(Inset photo: A child’s sign asking to save the vacant B.C. Hydro at Kings Road. “Do not turn the park into condos. Park is much more prettier then some old condos.” Facebook)

“We’ll be presenting local governments with a formal offer sometime soon,” Olynyk said. “If [Saanich] wants to negotiate [they can]. Keep in mind we act on behalf of ratepayers across the province, we do what’s best for ratepayers.”

Related: Still no plans for BC Hydro land at Kings Road

Related: Community group pushes to save Hydro land on Kings Road

In other words, don’t expect any discounts from BC Hydro to turn the land into a park. It is not zoned as park, though many believe Saanich council will not pass up the opportunity to purchase it. The central area of the lot 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 and Haultain are zoned for single-family lots. Speculation based on the zoning means the property will be into the millions. The question is if Saanich can afford it.

“We’ve been arguing that CRD could contribute,” Sterritt said. “Just because it hasn’t been done in the past doesn’t mean it can’t be done now.”

“For a lot of people who use this park daily, it’s a central issue for the upcoming [Oct. 20 election],” Sterritt said.

Sterritt said organizers of the “Save Kings Park” group (note it is not a park) will be sending a note to all 2,500 people who’ve signed the petition, many of them from Saanich, to tell them which councillors and mayoral candidates are in support of protecting it.

“We have support that goes beyond the acquisition,” Sterritt said. “LifeCycles Project has shown interest in having a community garden there, volunteers with the Bowker Creek initiative are excited, too.

“We have a deficit of green space,” she added. “This is a no-brainer, but at the end of the day we need that political will, it’s nice to see that building and growing.”

reporter@saanichnews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

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

Just Posted

Saanich council recently adopted a 131-step climate action plan expected to cost $2.5-million in the first year of implementation. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tensions high as Saanich considers reigniting local area plan review

Majority vote pushes discussion to fall strategic plan check-in

Camp Barnard during the 2019 Pacific Jamboree. (Photo: Camp Barnard)
Camp Barnard near Sooke hopes fundraiser will help it progress on accessibility goals

I Care ‘Bout Camp challenge hopes to raise $100,000 for new lodge, replaced kitchen

Oaklands Elementary’s Division 5 Grade 4/5 class posed with Leila Bui (middle), her dad Tuan Bui (crouching to her left) and mom Kairry Nguyen (right) after presenting the family with a cheque for $710 raised by the students during a necklace sale in December 2020. (Photos courtesy Kairry Nguyen)
Victoria students raise funds for girl seriously injured when struck by vehicle in crosswalk

Oaklands Elementary class contributes to purchase of all-terrain wheelchair for Leila Bui

Saanich Fire Department. (Black Press Media file photo)
Fire displaces three Saanich families from two homes

Saanich firefighters found the fire had spread to a neighbouring home upon arriving

Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre wants to relocate from Langford to 3322 Fulton Rd. in Colwood, but has not been approved for a P-6 zoning by Colwood council. Residents who neighbour the property, have expressed concern to the Goldstream Gazette regarding the potential daycare site. Neighbours Ryan Landa and Selene Winchester said the noise of construction has been disruptive to the area, and the property is not suitable for a daycare. (Photo contributed/Ryan Landa)
Proposed West Shore daycare stirs up controversy amongst neighbours

Neighbouring property owners are concerned about traffic, noise that a daycare would bring to the area

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

(BC SPCA)
Is it safe to give your dog some peanut butter? Not always, BC SPCA warns

Some commercial peanut butter ingredients can be harmful to dogs

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Fingers crossed that procedure can give Cole Moore a new lease on life after decade of seizures

Health Minister Adrian Dix, front, B.C. Premier John Horgan and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry arrive for a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus, in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, March 6, 2020. Pandemic emergency measures have been in place for almost a year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. officials plead for patience as 1.7 million COVID-19 calls flood in

Vaccine registration for 90-plus seniors opened Monday

A West Kootenay man died in an avalanche on March 4 while snowmobiling near Mount Payne, which is indicted by the red flag. Illustration: Google Maps
B.C. father of 3 dead after avalanche in West Kootenay

The man was snowmobiling with a group when incident occurred March 4

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Thursday, January 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Vaccine hesitancy decreases in B.C. as mass immunizations set to begin: poll

Two-thirds of British Columbians, and Canadians, would get the vaccine as soon as possible

Software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, has been forced to re-skill during the COVID-19 pandemic after more than six years of unsuccessfully applying for jobs in B.C.’s tech industry. (Submitted photo/Shaimma Yehia)
Why skilled immigrant women continue to be shut out of B.C.’s booming tech sector

Experienced software engineer Shaimma Yehia, 40, hasn’t found a job since she migrated to Canada 6 years ago

A woman walks through Toronto’s financial district on Monday, July 30, 2018. A new poll suggests most Canadians believe there’s still a long way to go to achieve gender equality in this country. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
Canadians, especially women, say gender equality not achieved in Canada: Poll

Poll results themselves underscore the challenge, with more men believing equality had been achieved

Most Read