A popular undeveloped green space between Kings Road and Richmond Avenue has officially been purchased by the District of Saanich from the landowners, BC Hydro.
Sometimes referred to as the “Hydro Fields”, Saanich Council offered to purchase the unused natural space from BC Hydro for $5.5 million back in January.
BC Hydro has owned the property since 1958, but has considered the 5.5 acres “surplus to its needs” over the past 60 years.
While the District has officially taken ownership of the land, the municipality plans to launch a fundraising action plan to help cover the costs of the multi-million dollar purchase.
In January, the District was seeking $2.75 million in funding from other local governments, community associations, organizations, and residents to offset the debt.
If the council is unable to raise enough funds for the land, Saanich plans do dispose a portion of the property to recoup some of the cost.
The 2.23 hectare plot of land features grass, trees, shrubbery, and has Bowker Creek running along its southwest boundary. The area is uninhabited save for one single-family dwelling.
“Council heard from residents that this property is a crucial part of their community,” said Acting Mayor Karen Harper in a statement.
“We are thrilled to be able to respond to these needs. Work is now underway to develop a fundraising process to cover a portion of the purchase cost, in order to remain fiscally responsible.”