Monday, July 22, 2024

Langford city council butts heads with Bear Mountain over controversial access fee

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Langford’s city council had a notice of motion brought before them on June 5th which would have city staff explore all options to gain public access to the trails on Bear Mountain’s property. 

This notice of motion is in direct response to the development’s announcement that non-residents of Bear Mountain will have to pay $45 per day to access the trails.

Ecoasis, Bear Mountain’s parent company, landed themselves in hot water with neighbouring communities who had previously been freely traversing the trails which meander around the development’s two golf courses and lead into Goldstream Provincial Park. 

As of June 1st, Ecoasis has been requiring people using the trails to go to their Activity Centre, sign a liability waiver and pay $45 for a Resort Pass which grants them access to all of Bear Mountain’s amenities, including the trails. 

The controversial move has had many non-residents of Bear Mountain livid that they can no longer use the trails for free, despite the fact that they are on private property and Ecoasis is fully within their rights to restrict access and impose charges if they choose to do so.


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At this week’s Langford city council meeting, Councillor Kieth Yacucha brought a notice of motion before the mayor and his fellow councillors to explore all legal options, including expropriation, to allow public access to Bear Mountains Trails. 

Some of the lands in which the trails are on belong to the District of Highlands, so Councillor Yacucha further motioned that city staff collaborate with Highlands district staff in order to try to both gain public access to the trails. 

Councillor Kimberly Guiry collaborated with Yacucha on this and both have stated that they look forward to speaking about the issue at an upcoming council meeting for the topic’s debate. 

Dan Matthews, President and CEO of Ecoasis says he hasn’t heard anything from the City of Langford.

“Neither staff nor council of the City of Langford, has reached out to us about this initiative, therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment at this time,” said Matthews.

Yacucha’s motion will be debated by the City of Langford council on June 19th.

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Curtis Blandy
curtis@victoriabuzz.com

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