Haro Woods deal nears completion

Several opportunities remain for public input on woodland's future

The future of Haro Woods will soon be up to Saanich residents.

While councillors this week gave their approval to a land swap with the Capital Regional District, Mayor Frank Leonard says it’ll be up to the public to provide input on how the urban forest is best protected.

“This does not have to be looked after by (Saanich parks staff),” he said. “It could have a much closer relationship with the residents of Cadboro Bay and Gordon Head.”

He offered ideas like a Friends of Haro Woods Society or a Haro Woods stewardship, which could oversee the site according to the neighbourhood’s wishes.

Haro Woods covers three properties currently owned by Saanich, the CRD and the University of Victoria.

As part of the $7.2-million deal, the CRD will receive 1.56 hectares of Saanich’s land to install underground attenuation tanks. They’re purpose is to temporarily store wastewater flows during storms and prevent downstream overflows.

This parcel of land already has sanitary infrastructure on it.

The existing CRD land will become a possession of Saanich.

The CRD board is expected to approve the deal Nov. 9. The public has the opportunity at that time to speak on the land exchange.

Rezoning the different parcels of land – to woodland and utility zoning – requires going before council, during which the public will also be able to provide input.

As well, consultation will occur with area residents on how to best go about protecting and maintaining the land.

If rezoning is approved, and the deal is completed, 96 per cent of Haro Woods will be protected woodland.

“This agreement is as close to a win-win as you can get,” Leonard said.

The deal also includes additional selling of Saanich land (near Hartland landfill) to the CRD, and $1.48 million in cash, which would come from Saanich’s park acquisition fund over eight years.

“All of us knew years ago this was the kind of solution we wanted to come up with,” said Coun. Susan Brice, acknowledging Haro Woods protection has been a goal for council and neighbours for two decades. “There’s always been one vision for Haro Woods, and that is to protect it.”

kslavin@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

The barred owl is the most likely to be spotted in the south Island. (Ann Nightingale photo)
Barred owls dominate Greater Victoria owl-scape

Western screech owl population decimated, partly due to barred owls

Between June 1 and 7, 168 net unconditional sales were made for properties in the VREB region. (Black Press Media file photo)
Victoria home sales slightly behind last June’s pace

Benchmark value of single-family home in Greater Victoria tops $1 million

A new report pegs the annual cost of hiring a third party to monitor use of pickleball courts in North Saanich at $12,000. (Black Press Media file photo).
North Saanich could end up hiring third party to monitor pickleball courts

Other options up for consideration include use of cameras and timed locks

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read