Saanich to sell trio of surplus properties

Saanich to disburse municipally owned properties at 832 Vernon Ave., 1649 Alderwood St., and 703 Cordova Bay Rd.

Three municipally owned properties were voted as surplus to the District of Saanich at council on Monday and will be sold off.

Each of the lots will be disbursed in a different way. They fall on 832 Vernon Ave. near Saanich Municipal Hall, 1649 Alderwood St. in Gordon Head, and 703 Cordova Bay Rd., next to the former Trio gravel pit.

The Mt. View Colquitz Community Association endorsed Saanich’s decision to sell 832 Vernon Ave. to B.C. Housing at a nominal fee. B.C. Housing is in the process of redeveloping the “Nigel Valley,” which is essentially the area of Nigel Lane, or, the land between Vernon and Darwin avenues, bounded by Saanich Municipal Hall to the north down and a condo development on Saanich Road to the south.

Coun. Judy Brownoff supports the decision as the Nigel Valley already provides much needed affordable housing for all walks of life.

“The whole valley is set to be redeveloped, if you think about it the concern is there’s existing seniors in facilities, and you have fearful tenants, some who’ve been there 30 years,” Brownoff said.

A portion of the Vernon parcel is quite steep and B.C Housing may actually need an outdoor elevator to create an ease of accessibility, Brownoff said.

Included in the Nigel Valley is the Garth Homer Center and a Greater Victoria Housing Society building.

The only one of the three properties that will go on the open market is 773 Cordova Bay Rd. One would assume it is of particular interest to the Aragon development that is in the consultation process to build a high density, multi-building development on the former Trio gravel pit which neighbours 773 Cordova. The 1,067 square-metre lot was recently assessed at a value of $390,000.

It is currently zoned as mixed residential and industrial, including mini-storage, and is subject to rezoning. The lot was originally zoned the same as the Sayward HIll development.

The Alderwood St. lot will be sold close to market value with the priority splitting the property into two. Saanich anticipates that both owners of the contiguous properties, 1715 Blair and 1647 Alderwood, would be interested in parcels of the 322 sq. metre lot assessed at $328,000 this year.

“One could use more land to get a subdivision done and the other, a single family, they might want it to expand their property,” Brownoff said.

The Mt. View Colquitz Community Association is hosting Lauren English, senior project officer with B.C. Housing, for a public presentation of the Nigel Valley at Colquitz middle school on Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m.