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To: Saanich Mayor and Council, Directors of the CRD and MLAs of BC

Save the Largest Remaining Natural Green Space in South Saanich

Save the Largest Remaining Natural Green Space in South Saanich

URGENT: Preserve Kings Road Park – the BC Hydro green space at 1843 Kings Road that is slated for sale, and is the largest remaining unprotected natural space in south Saanich.

To the Saanich Mayor and Council, Directors of the CRD and MLAs of British Columbia:

We the undersigned urge the city of Saanich to work with the Province and CRD to acquire this BC Hydro owned property, slated for imminent sale, and preserve the green space in its entirety as a municipal park.

This beautiful 5-acre green space is the largest remaining unprotected natural space in south Saanich and has been used by our community as a park for 68 years.

Hundreds of Saanich residents use the park-like green space daily to walk, bike, commute, play, rest and escape the increasingly dense urban setting within the Saanich Panhandle. Animal residents of the park include owls, falcons, hawks and a multitude of bird and pollinator species.

Bowker Creek runs through the park, lined with massive fir and cedar trees. A large field and floodplain serves as a watershed buffer for the creek, keeping the creek wet during times of drought while mitigating the risk of future flooding. The alluvial soil is high in organic matter, and its condition prevented the natural space from being developed into a parking lot and ambulance station in the 2000s. Beyond the geotechnical complications with building foundations, the soil condition facilitates site drainage, and development would place Bowker Creek at risk for further contamination.

Our local area of Saanich holds a deficit of neighbourhood park spaces (as stated on page 26 of our Shelbourne local area plan). As our local population continues to increase through rapid densification, natural green spaces become increasingly critical to preserve the physical, emotional and mental wellness of our residents. The preservation of Kings Road Park supports this need, while also protecting the environmental health of our region. Moreover, preserving this 5-acre green space helps Saanich meet its climate goals of carbon neutrality by creating and sustaining cool, absorbent landscapes, as noted in Saanich’s Climate Plan. Community gardens, community art installations, Bowker Creek educational opportunities are all ways in which our community envisions this beautiful green space being sustainably enjoyed by all.

Saanich considered purchasing the property in the late 1980s and early 1990s. However, at this time BC Hydro was not interested in selling the property nor developing it, and so Saanich continued to enjoy the use of the Kings Park green space as parkland. Saanich currently maintains garbage collection and parking on both Kings Road and Haultain Street. Thus, many users mistake the Hydro owned green space as a Saanich municipal park.

We must not pit green space preservation against housing development. Progressive cities do both. They create more housing AND preserve green space as the number of residents increases. 21st century cities densify through suites, garden suites and town homes infilled on current housing sites, while they protect and expand green space to support the needs of a growing population.

As a community we are working to explore creative solutions to help Saanich acquire this green space, including applying for multiple municipal grants and seeking assistance from the CRD and Province to help preserve this shared green space.

We urge the Mayor and Council of Saanich to seize this once in a lifetime opportunity to acquire and preserve this incredible 5-acre urban green space for current and future generations of residents.

Let’s work together to create a progressive, sustainable and vibrant 21st century Saanich!

Why is this important?

This green space is used by hundreds of residents every day, is home to numerous bird and pollinating species, and has been treated as a park for the past 68 years. The area contains a creek, its riparian zone and floodplain.

Lets keep Saanich green!


Reasons for signing

  • Too much of our green space is disappearing due to all the construction of more “affordable” housing and it’s only going to get worse if we don’t do something now and speak up!
  • Running for Saanich council, I live in the panhandle and support saving Kings Park.
  • Densification is needed for physical shelter and safety but access to green space, nature and outdoor exercise is equally important to overall health and well- being.

Updates

2018-10-12 16:30:09 -0400

The Saanich Election is 10 days away on October 20th!

We asked all Saanich Candidates to provide one sentence answering whether they SUPPORT, or DO NOT SUPPORT, the acquisition of the BC Hydro Greenspace on Kings road and it's preservation as a municipal park.

*Below is a list of Saanich Candidates who support, do not support, or who did not reply, in writing to our request*.

Please review the Candidate's responses below and keep these in mind as you vote on October 20th.

*Candidates Who SUPPORT the Acquisition and Preservation of the greenspace as a Municipal Park*:

2018-10-12 16:29:58 -0400

Fred Haynes:
"My pledge to secure the full acquisition and preservation of this essential green space is stated in the public record in writing (my platform) and in video as a public record, and I have been working closely with this group since the spring and will continue to work with them to ensure this natural space community asset is here for current and future generations."

Richard Atwell:
"As Mayor I support Saanich acquiring the BC Hydro Greenspace on Kings road to increase parkland in the Saanich panhandle."

CONTINUED BELOW -

2018-10-12 16:29:39 -0400

Colin Plant:
"I fully support the acquisition of the lands informally known as Kings Park and to preserve it all as a Saanich Park."

Nathalie Chambers:
"I Nathalie Chambers 100% the acquisition, and protection in perpetuity of Kings Road\Bowker Creek watershed park.""

Ned Taylor:
"I completely support your efforts. Thank you for the hard work you're doing!"

CONTINUED BELOW -

2018-10-12 16:29:20 -0400

Vernon Lord:
"You know my stance, purchase the land for the future of Saanich."

Zac de Vries:
"We need to protect the greenspace, parks and farms that we have, and actively seek to expand these spaces; I will ensure Kings Park is acquired by Saanich and protected as a park!"

Susan Brice:
"I support Saanich acquiring the Hydro green space and preserving as Park."

Art Pollard:
"I fully support the acquisition of this valuable resource called Kings Road Park, for our future generations to live and play in."

CONTINUED BELOW -

2018-10-12 16:29:06 -0400

Rishi Sharma:
"Yes, I do support your efforts and the the acquisition of the BC Hydro Greenspace on Kings road and it's preservation as a municipal park."

Kathleen Burton:
"I fully support the acquisition of the BC Hydro Green space on Kings road and it's preservation as a municipal park."

Benjamin Allan:
"I am in favour or Saanich purchasing the lands known as kings park, this I a once in a lifetime opportunity."

CONTINUED BELOW -

2018-10-12 16:28:52 -0400

Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff:
"With increased density comes an even greater need for green space, so I would be in favour of working with a wide range of partners to pursue purchasing the green space on King's Road and establishing it as a Saanich Park."

Karen Harper:
"Yes I support acquiring the Hydro Greenspace."

Dr. Teale Phelps Bondaroff:
"With increased density comes an even greater need for green space, so I would be in favour of working with a wide range of partners to pursue purchasing the green space on King's Road and establishing it as a Saanich Park."

Karen Harper:
"Yes I support acquiring the Hydro Greenspace."

CONTINUED BELOW -

2018-10-12 16:28:07 -0400

Shawn Newby:
"I want to thank you two for all the work you have done and I will do my utmost to make sure we preserve this space."

Trevor Barry:
"While I recognise that showing political support for this acquisition necessarily compromises our bargaining power during negotiations, luckily we are dealing with a Crown Corp... so: YES! I support to acquire it; perhaps as a "tri-cities park"??"

Cory Montgomery:
"Parks are vital to our community, they are a place for families to play, socialize and exercise as well as it maintains greenspace that is needed. Kings park is just this, we do need to acquire this land and I fully support it. We do need to ensure we acquire it in the most fiscally responsible way possible through negotiations, and do not over pay for this land that should be part of Saanich’s future."

CONTINUED BELOW -

2018-10-12 16:27:24 -0400

Rebecca Mersereau:
"Recognizing that a) green space will be increasingly important to maintain the high quality of life in this region due to densification and population growth and b) this area of Saanich is under-served by green space relative to Saanich’s policy objectives and c) this space has a host of ecological, recreational and community-building potential, I support the acquisition of the BC Hydro GreenSpace on Kings Road and it’s preservation as a municipal park. "

*Candidates who do not support the preservation of the greenspace*

None at this time.

*Candidates who did not reply to our email request*:

Rob Wickson

Judy Brownoff

Ian Jessop

2018-09-26 14:28:28 -0400

Zac de Vries
250-634-4769
info@zacforsaanich.ca

Karen Harper
250-208-6247
karenharper@shaw.ca

Ian Jessop
250-508-0490
ianrjessop@gmail.com

Vernon Lord
250-661-9271
govern1871@gmail.com

Rebecca Mersereau
250-532-0215
rebecca@voterebecca.ca

Cory Montgomery
250-896-2008
corymontgomery@gmail.com

Shawn Newby
250-415-6779
shawnnewby2018@gmail.com

Teale Phelps Bondaroff
778-678-8325
hello@teale.ca

Colin Plant
250-514-1439
colin@colinplant.com

Art Pollard
250-361-3747 / 250-588-1158
art@artpollard.ca

Rishi Sharma
250-818-1665
rishi@rishisharmaforsaanich.com

Ned Taylor
250-477-8960
nedtaylor4saanich@gmail.com

Contacts MLAs

Rob Flemming MLA
rob.fleming.mla@leg.bc.ca
250-356-5013

Lana Poppin MLA
lana.popham.MLA@leg.bc.ca
(250) 479-4154

Andrew Weaver
(250) 472-8528
Andrew.Weaver.MLA@leg.bc.ca

2018-09-26 14:28:11 -0400

Contacts: Saanich Councillors, candidates and MLAs

*In two batches due to update length restriction

Richard Atwell
Not listed
richard@richardatwell.ca

Fred Haynes
250-708-0702
fred.haynes@me.com

David Shebib
250-818-1992
shebib0@yahoo.ca

Rob Wickson
250-812-9164
wickson@telus.net

Benjamin Allan
250-588-6644
benjamin4saanich@icloud.com

Trevor Barry
Not listed
Email: trevor4saanich@gmail.com

Susan Brice
250-598-6209
sgbrice@shaw.ca

Judy Brownoff
250-727-2008
jbrownoff@telus.net

Kathleen Burton
250-361-6221
katbythesea@hotmail.ca

Nathalie Chambers
250-893-4505
nathaliechambers2018@gmail.com

2018-09-26 14:22:10 -0400

BC Hydro has announced that they will offer the urban green space for sale to the city of Saanich.

https://www.vicnews.com/news/bc-hydro-to-offer-sale-of-kings-road-land-to-saanich/

Please take two short steps to ensure this land is protected as a city park!

1) Please write Saanich councillors, candidates and members of the CRD and ask that they act quickly to purchase the land from BC Hydro. (list of contacts provided above)

2) Please call or write your local MLA and ask that they work to ensure Hydro sells the land at a reasonable rate. Hydro is a public utility selling the land to another public entity - a municipality. There is a role for the Province to play. (MLA Contacts above).

Together we will protect this urban green space for generations to come!

2018-07-06 12:54:54 -0400

1,000 signatures reached

2018-06-27 22:42:04 -0400

500 signatures reached

2018-06-25 13:19:28 -0400

100 signatures reached

2018-06-25 10:31:00 -0400

50 signatures reached

2018-06-25 03:04:53 -0400

25 signatures reached

2018-06-25 01:36:36 -0400

10 signatures reached