Rowing proposal capsizes

St. Michaels University looking for new location after Langford Lake plan rejected

Langford city councillors have voted down a proposal to build a rowing facility on Langford Lake after listening to the concerns of nearby residents.

The decision, made in-camera because it dealt with a property issue, was unanimous among councillors.

“The letters we were getting and the information we were getting showed that the people weren’t in favour of it,” Coun. Lanny Seaton said. “And we kind of said that it’s up to them.”

The proposal was a joint venture between Langford and St. Michaels University School. The plan was for rowers to use the lake for practices from September to June, mostly after school. A rowing lane would have gone up the centre of the lake.

A report posted on Langford’s website states that, according to a consultation process, two out of every three residents on the lake opposed the plan.

“There’s no sense in going ahead with something if most people are not in favour of it,” Seaton said. “I kind of think some people were right. I was open to what the people wanted to say but in my own mind it looked like it was kind of bunching the lake up a bit. It looked like it was quite a bit for one little lake.”

St. Michaels director of finance and administration, Michael Murgatroyd, said council’s decision is disappointing, considering the time and effort that went into developing the proposal. However, he understands the decision.

“It’s a community’s lake and they do have other activities on it,” Murgatroyd said. “We did think we had a chance, we thought we could fit in with them, with their activities, but they don’t agree.”

St. Michaels is now looking for another practice location to house its rowers. They need a sheltered body of water somewhat close to the school, which complicates the search, Murgatroyd said.

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