The Land Conservancy is a step closer to
turning one of southern Vancouver Island's most beautiful pieces of
real-estate into a public park.
Capital Regional District directors
voted unanimously Wednesday to support in principle acquiring the
Deertrail lands in Sooke, with the potential to preserve the
63-hectare parcel as green space.
"This means to the community, at the
regional level, politicians recognize that what the people want to see
is the preservation of this valuable property as parkland," said TLC
executive director Bill Turner.
"I think the directors should be
applauded for doing their research, and really thinking the matter
The CRD motion also requests the B.C.
government appoint a mediator to craft a potential agreement with the
TLC, along with other affected parties, and ease any tensions that
linger between the conservation group and Sooke council.
The municipality had been leaning toward
allowing resort development on the Deertrail lands, which includes a
section of the Sooke potholes, but a report reviewed by directors
Tuesday concluded the idea wasn't financially feasible.
The TLC will now go back to the
provincial government looking for a $1.26 million commitment to
proceed with turning the land into a park.
Turner met with Water, Land and Air
Protection Minister Bill Barisoff Tuesday morning, but Barisoff
declined to act until the CRD had deliberated on the issue.
The minister and Turner will meet again
The final component of the regional
district's motion provides protection for the TLC, which holds the
property's $1.4 million second mortgage, if the first mortgage holders
They threatened to foreclose in the past
if zero development was permitted.
© Copyright 2004 Victoria Weekend Edition
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