Letter: Potential fate of Gonzales lot leaves frequent visitor in shock

Send your letters to editor@oakbaynews.com

To whom it may concern (Victoria council and Board of Variance, Oak Bay council, CRD and local media)

I am in shock after hearing the probable fate of Gonzales Hill, a beloved destination for me. I live in Saanich, but am often in Victoria and Oak Bay enjoying our little patchwork of green spaces. Over the years I have seen development creep up the hills, and to the shores – Moss Rock, Christmas Hill and Glencoe Cove. Compare yesterday’s snapshot with today’s.

I assumed that all the open land around the observatory comprised Gonzales Hill Regional Park, but a large chunk is privately owned and up for development. This is vital Garry oak habitat — of which only five per cent remains. The rock and trees virtually define our natural landscape. This park hosts wildlife, and it’s a place for folks to appreciate this wildlife, fresh air, and breathtaking views. (And how sadly ironic that the observatory now houses the Land Conservancy of BC). I heard the CRD could have purchased the lot a few years ago, but didn’t. I am incredulous, since it had the funds. But not the foresight or will.

Saanich Mayor Richard Atwell was recently quoted as saying the municipality cannot police private property in any practical way. But it must. We work to police activity in privately owned Amazon rainforest. Why should it be any different here? I implore local government to curtail development. If it’s too late, then it must severely restrict size, and guarantee minimal damage to the beautiful rocky terrain, trees and views. But I am 100 per cent against this property being developed. Anything less than its acquisition as additional park land will signify failure of our local government.

Carolyn Affleck

Saanich

Just Posted

VIDEO: Victoria immigrant centre’s refugee housing lands in Oak Bay

Partnership project officially announced for World Refugee Day

Marijuana to be legal in Canada Oct. 17: Trudeau

Prime Minister made the announcement during question period in the House of Commons

Rebirth of downtown cultural festival coming to Victoria in July

Folktoria aims to pick up where Folkfest left off

Plans rejigged for new Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre

Visitors to open house see plans for fitness facility, main pool with movable floor

Two people taken into custody after TD bank robbery

VicPD say an individual left the building with an undisclosed amount of cash

In reversal, Trump signs executive order to stop family separation

President had been wrongly insisting he had no choice but to separate families apprehended at border

50 new fires sparked in B.C. after lightning strikes across province

Similar conditions seen at the beginning of 2017 wildfire season

POLL: Do you have a family doctor?

“I don’t have a family doctor,” is an all too familiar phrase… Continue reading

B.C. woman graduates high school at age 92

Nanaimo’s Joan Deebank the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as ministry can confirm

B.C. Appeal Court rules lottery winner must be paid back $600,000 loan

Enone Rosas won $4.1 million in a lottery in 2007 and loaned a portion to a friend

B.C. man surprised after used needle falls from sky

A Vernon resident said a syringe fell out of the sky and landed at his feet

Liquor review finds issues with B.C. wholesale monopoly

Report calls for ‘conflict of interest’ in system to be fixed

Police look for driver of blue Jeep who may have helped at fatal crash

A 19-year-old girl was killed in a crash near Delta on June 2

Conservationists, industry react to fish farm provisions

New provincial regulations to take effect by 2022