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Three decades in the making!

Langford council has finally acquired a massive chunk of land its been working to purchase for nearly 30 years.

In a big announcement Wednesday, the City of Langford announced it has purchased 13-acres of land at 2955 Sooke Lake Road with the Capital Regional District (CRD) and the Capital Regional District’s Regional Water Supply Commission.

The CRD property is currently zoned as residential but had previously been used for industrial uses, both as a source of gravel and for construction fill.

Since 2017, the land has not been used for operational purposes and is considered surplus to the CRD’s future needs.

The land, which has been unused since 2017, will become Langford’s 139th park and adds to the approximately 2,400 acres of existing green space and parks.

According to the City of Langford, the proposed concept for the newly acquired land includes baseball fields, a spray park, a playground, and parking.

Further public consultation will follow at the Parks and Recreation Open House on Saturday, September 10th from 10 a.m. to the 2 p.m. at Eagle Ridge Arena located at City Centre Park, 1089 Langford Parkway.

“The additional 13-acres of land will provide Langford residents with more space to get outside and enjoy Langford’s parks and recreation facilities. We are grateful to the developers who have been investing in Langford as it allows us to purchase this land at no cost to the taxpayer,” said Langford Mayor, Stew Young.

“Council has been trying to acquire this land for the last 30-years and we are pleased to make this announcement today.”

In a statement, the City of Langford said it heard the need for additional programmable ball fields from the public during the parks and recreation needs assessment process.

In the last five years, Langford has continued to grow with a population increase from 35,342 (2016) to 46,584 (2021),  an increase of 31.8%. It’s the fastest growing city in BC and the 3rd fastest in Canada during that time.

“This proposed use will support the growing demand for youth ball who, on many occasions, must leave the city due to the lack of fields suitable for their skill and age level,” the City of Langford said.

This land transfer includes a covenant to limit future land-use to community parks and recreation uses.

Statutory rights-of-way will be in place to enable the CRD to retain, manage and protect the existing underground CRD infrastructure on the site.

“Transferring this land to the City of Langford allows us to create community value, in the form of recreational green space, from out-of-service land,” said Lillian Szpak, Chair of Regional Water Supply Commission.

“The funds from the sale will be used to offset the costs of construction of a new watershed field office facility in Goldstream.”

“Triangle Baseball is excited for the opportunities this proposed facility offers to help meet our current and future field requirements. This concept of new fields and facilities will give us flexibility to continue growing our membership, enhance our grassroots baseball programs, and provide us opportunities to retain higher performance athletes in the Westshore,” said Darren MacDonald, Future Fields Committee, Triangle Baseball.

The City said it has applied for a $6 million dollar grant from the Canada Community Building Fund – Strategic Priorities Stream administered through the Union of British Columbia Municipalities to assist with improvement costs.

Langford said it purchased the land for $5 million dollars, with funds from Parks Development Cost Charges, funded by development, at no cost to the Langford taxpayer.

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