Under Section 9(1) of the BC Bare Land Strata Regulations of the Strata Property Act, whenever a Bare Land Strata Subdivision is proposed along a waterfront, the local government has the opportunity of a lifetime to claim a 7 meter strip along that waterfront without compensation to the developer – for reasons of public interest, access, or safety. That kind of subdivision is under way in Oak Bay along the King George Terrace waterfront, bordering Trafalgar Park beneath the scenic viewpoint.
The waterfront of the subdivision is about 100 meters long so the area of the strip that Oak Bay can claim for free is about 700 sq m. A waterfront lot of 639 sq m a block away at 323 King George Terrace is appraised by BC Assessment at $1,655,000 without the house. This means that Oak Bay’s free claim is worth over $1.5 million. It could be used to create a safe path for generations to come, circumventing steep rocks above dangerous tidal currents, to connect Trafalgar to the tiny hidden scenic beaches along that section of the federal bird and wildlife sanctuaries.
Unfortunately, the Oak Bay Planning Office has decided not to claim that free waterfront strip and thus all future generations will be denied safe access to that federal foreshore. This non-transparent decision, in effect, gave $1.5 million worth of public assets to the developer’s profit margin. This is a betrayal of public interest involving big bucks. Was it an “oops” or something more nefarious?