Rebecca Sterritt has been among the prominent supporters of plans to turn surplus land owned by the B.C. Hydro into a public park. (Submitted photo)

Saanich, B.C. Hydro remain silent over surplus land negotiations

Municipality wants to turn lot into a park

Saanich and BC Hydro continue to negotiate over land slated for public use, but both sides remain silent over details.

Ted Olynyk, regional manager for community relations on Vancouver Island for BC Hydro, said talks with Saanich over Kings Park — the informal name of land the utility owns between Kings Road and Haultain Street — continue.

But Olynyk said he could not discuss details, echoing Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes, who declined to answer a series of questions about the file.

BC Hydro considers the 5.5-acre property near the Oak Bay and Victoria border surplus and wants to sell it.

The Crown corporation entered discussions with Saanich after the provincial government, other Crown corporations and First Nations declined their respective options to purchase the land valued at $6 million. If Saanich and B.C. Hydro fail to reach an agreement, the property will enter the open market.

A number of groups have called on Saanich to purchase the land to turn it into a park and Haynes identified its transformation into a public park a top priority in echoing comparable calls from other members of council.

“Council needs to get its head around that,” he said on the day of his election. “I believe it’s a strong commitment to the future of Saanich, to have the opportunity for densification, balanced with green space in an appropriate way for our children’s children, so that 50 years from now, they can look back and be proud of this council.”

But if Saanich officials have expressed an eagerness to see a park in the area, officials with the utility have also tempered expectations.

Olynyk said in an interview that the utility must protect the financial interests of its ratepayers regardless of where they live in confirming earlier comments downplaying expectations of a discount for the District.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

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

Just Posted

North Saanich man fears tougher moorage policies could cost him his home

Stewart Jackson has been living on a boat off Lillian Hoffar Park for about four years

Grave site at Ross Bay Cemetery vandalized overnight

Graffiti found on grave of Sir James Douglas

Thief robs Saanich liquor store at gunpoint, takes cash register

Police ask for public’s help with ongoing investigation

RCMP seek man who allegedly robbed Langford liquor store with a gun

Man described as six to six foot four tall, with slim build and light-coloured skin

Young Island skiers pick up medals at second Teck BC Cup in Prince George

Strathcona Nordic Ski Club athletes nabbed podium finishes

POLL: Do you support the proposed changes for ICBC?

Tuesday’s provincial budget predicted a shift from shortfall to surplus in wake… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 18

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

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

Canadian Premier League announces 2020 home dates for eight-team circuit

Pacific FC hosts FC Edmonton on April 11 in Langford

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

Most Read