CRD & Municipality of Saanich Reach Proposed Agreement for Finnerty-Arbutus Land Exchange

Sep 16, 2011

Victoria, BC –- The Capital Regional District (CRD) and the District of Saanich have proposed an agreement for purchase and sale of the Finnerty-Arbutus properties in Saanich East.

The two parcels of land, one owned by the CRD and one owned by Saanich, will be exchanged in order to facilitate the construction of underground attenuation tanks for the Core Area Wastewater Treatment project. The land exchange as proposed is a way of mitigating environmental impacts on the site, including native vegetation and wildlife habitat. Mayor Frank Leonard of Saanich has announced that Council will move to zone the land it would purchase as parkland.

“Portions of the Saanich property have been previously disturbed by the installation of sewer trunks and collection pipes,” said CRD Board Chair Geoff Young. “Building attenuation tanks on this parcel instead of the currently owned CRD property will result in protection of the parcel with the greatest ecological integrity.”

Included in the land swap agreement will be the CRD’s acquisition, from Saanich, of further lands adjacent to Hartland landfill and payment of $1.488 million from Saanich to the CRD over time. The transfer will be subject to appropriate approval of rezoning through the Saanich Council, to downzone the property from residential to institutional to accommodate the construction of underground attenuation tanks.

“Strong resident feedback supported the move of attenuation tanks from the CRD parcel to the Saanich parcel,” said Mayor Leonard. “This agreement will help preserve much of the intact forest at Haro Woods.”

Public consultation on the Finnerty-Arbutus properties in 2010 demonstrated opposition to any construction in the area; residents were in favour of using the Saanich owned parcel if construction had to be undertaken. Underground attenuation tanks will currently require use of part of the land, the remainder will be reserved for any future expansion. Public consultation will be held as part of the process to reach a final agreement.

Additional Resources:
Saanich Finnerty-Arbutus Map
Saanich Finnerty-Arbutus Report

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For further information please contact:
Chair Geoff Young
Capital Regional District
Office: 250.360.3126

Mayor Frank Leonard
District of Saanich
Office: 250.475.5510

Andy Orr, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications
Capital Regional District
Office: 250.360.3229
Cell: 250.216.5492

Tim Wood, Administrator
District of Saanich
Office: 250.475.5405