Saanich is seeking a consultant to create a plan for Panama Flats

Saanich moves on creating plan for Panama Flats

Progress is imminent at Saanich's Panama Flats, as the municipality this week announced it is looking for a consultant

Progress is imminent at Saanich’s Panama Flats, as the municipality this week announced it was looking for a consultant to help develop a 20-year vision for the 25-hectare parcel of land.

The request for proposals, which expires Sept. 4, indicates Saanich has a $45,000 budget to spend on the plan, which is set to be implemented by 2014.

“We don’t want to go through another season of it lying idle because we don’t have the staff available to work up a plan,” said Mayor Frank Leonard, adding that bringing in external resources allows the plan to be created sooner, rather than later.

The RFP indicates that any plan to convert the Flats to a public greenspace needs to account for its role as a floodplain, a salmon-bearing habitat (Colquitz River) and a rare ecosystem, and should include recreation and trail options, as well as a potential for community gardens.

Public engagement is roughly scheduled to begin taking place in late 2012 or early 2013.

“The big piece (from the consultant) is going to be helping support the public process that we’ll want to undertake to make sure we hear the various comments that exist out there,” said Doug Henderson, director of Saanich parks and recreation. “It’ll be helping get us to a conclusion that we consider valid, in terms of what the community will support for whatever Panama Flats will be in the future.”

The District of Saanich purchased Panama Flats in February 2011 in a $2.4-million deal with Island Berry Company Ltd. At the time, Leonard said the municipality saw value in the property’s floodplain management, recreation and agricultural opportunities.

In September 2011, Saanich announced a separate $7.2-million land deal to acquire the Capital Regional District’s portion of Haro Woods.

Leonard said plans for that land acquisition are still going ahead, but hinge upon the CRD successfully getting a small parcel of their land (which it will retain) rezoned to allow for a sewage pump station and underground attenuation tank.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Local tongue-in-cheek opportunists flog snow huts

‘Executive’ and ‘eco-friendly’ one-bedrooms pop up on Craigslist and Used Victoria

Province urges backcountry adventurers to stay safe this weekend

Search and rescue responded to 28 incidents last Family Day weekend

Snow storms prompt reminders to prepare for emergencies

Province reminds public of essential supplies

West Shore fundraiser serves up hope for kids with food allergies

Proceeds assist Oral Immunotherapy Research Program at BC Children’s Hospital

Sidewalk Trio reuniting at The Oaks

The next Blues for Eric scholarship benefit concert is Feb. 23

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read