As a lifelong resident of Saanich, specifically Royal Oak/Beaver Lake, I am saddened and shocked to hear that a group of developers have purchased the 27-acre site for the former Royal Oak Golf Course, with plans to develop the area into a multi faceted housing development of townhomes, condos and single family homes. I’m confident these developers did not purchase this land without some assurances in place that they would be able to remove it from it present zoning of ALR and P4, with a small area having run-off into Colquitz Creek a Salmon spawning ground.
The impact of this, on our once rural area will be devastating. The area is developing at an unbelievable rate. I understand the need for housing is great, but there is already enough development going on in the area. Old Pipeline Road, where we meandered along the water pipeline itself as school children heading to Beaver Lake for our annual end of year school picnic, is at present being developed with more homes and what looks to be a subdivision. All this surrounding what could be, a human and wildlife sanctuary. This 27-acre green space should be left undeveloped, cherished for the use of this and future generations to enjoy.
Animals and birdlife also reproduce and as such the next generations need to spread and have territory, just as much as humans. Since the close of the Golf Course many species have been returning to this parcel of land. If this area is saved from development perhaps these stands could be recovered and enhanced, adding to the beauty and value of the land and benefit the many plants and animals that rely on Garry oak habitat. I understand there is even a group of endangered turtles located in one of the ponds located on the property. Walkers, families with small children, along with dog walkers and many more, have already started to think of this wonderful parcel of land as park; a safe and inviting area.
Do we want the Royal Oak area to become like Stu Young’s Langford? More people and cars than the infrastructure can possibly handle, devoid of all character and wildlife? Please, enough is enough and I implore powers that be to not allow this last large parcel of land to be removed from it’s present zoning, to be held in perpetuity as an area of enjoyment by humans and animals alike.
Without the public’s support, this area will surely be built into a large-scale housing development. We will all be so much the poorer for it. I ask you to speak up, speak out, to Saanich council, the Capital Regional District, your MLA, whomever, to save this area.