Tuesday June 6, 2023 | LANGFORD, BC [Updated 3:40 pm]
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
At last night’s City of Langford council meeting, some political creativity made a spark. It’s a good example of how this new council is engaging rather deeply with the local residents.
Councilor Keith Yacucha tabled a Notice of Motion at the June 5 meeting, coauthored with Councilor Kimberley Guiry, to direct staff to explore all legal options, including expropriation, to formalize and secure public access over privately held lands known as 1270 Bear Mountain Parkway.
That land is within Langford by way of a statutory right of way over portions of the strata road known as Academy Way and the Bear Mountain Golf Course.
The Notice of Motion was raised in response to the owner of the private lands recently implementing restrictions and costs associated to public and visitor access to the road leading to BC Parks lands with access to hiking trails to Goldstream Park and Mount Finlayson.
In recent news coverage, a spokesperson for Ecoasis (which owns the subject property) indicated that the fees were in large part related to insurance being carried by the company, in case there are instances of personal injury by anyone using the trail on that land.
This is yet another example of where the insurance industry (and costs thereof) are an inflationary pressure on people and businesses. Insurance costs have gone up across the insurance industry sector in the past year, in response to inflation.
Approaching District of Highlands:
Councilor Yacucha further motioned that:
“Council direct staff to work with the District of Highlands to determine if the District would be willing to secure access over those portions of the adjacent lands to the north of 1270 Bear Mountain Parkway which fall within the District of Highlands, known as 1500 Hannington Road by way of a statutory right of way to secure access through these lands to the lands to the west known as Goldstream Provincial Park, in a location satisfactory to the Province of British Columbia.”
The Notice of Motion also stated that if the District of Highlands does not wish to secure access as set out above, that staff are directed to determine a route, to be secured by a statutory right of way, over those portions of 1270 Bear Mountain Parkway as may be necessary to connect directly to Goldstream Provincial Park, in a location satisfactory to the Province of British Columbia.
The Motion will be further debated by City of Langford Council at the June 19, 2023, Council meeting.
There is some public opinion that the council’s response — while admirable in terms of listening to the residents — won’t work.
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Island Social Trends (and the previous publications MapleLine Magazine 2008-2010, Sooke Voice News 2011-2013, and West Shore Voice News 2014-2020) delivers socioeconomic news insights about life on the west shore of south Vancouver Island. All news is posted at IslandSocialTrends.ca . Editor Mary P Brooke. Published by Brookeline Publishing House Inc. | Never miss a story: PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION SIGNUP