NORTH SAANICH, BC
For Immediate Release
April 25, 2019
The District of North Saanich was unsuccessful in its bid to secure approval from the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to construct a library on a portion of the Panorama Recreation Centre site.
In a ruling dated April 2, 2019, the ALC Executive Committee refused two April 6, 2018 applications submitted by North Saanich to: (1) Subdivide a 0.8 ha (2.0 ac) parcel, and (2) Conduct a Non-Farm Use activity (library) within the Agricultural Land Reserve on the subdivided parcel.
To view the Applications and Reasons for Decisions please visit the ALC website at http://a100.gov.bc.ca/pub/oatsp/list?execution=e1s2. Type in District of North Saanich in the “Local Government” box and select search.
“The Agricultural Land Commission decision to refuse the North Saanich applications will initiate a reassessment of the proposal to construct a library on the Panorama Recreation Centre parcel,” said Mayor Geoff Orr. “District staff will take some time to review the Executive Committee decision internally and also consult with Vancouver Island Regional Library representatives, Panorama Recreation Centre staff, the municipalities of Central Saanich & Sidney, and Capital Regional District staff to determine the next steps.”
The Executive Committee acknowledged that there is a long history of approvals having been granted for non-farm uses on the 6.4 ha (16.0 ac) site. They also acknowledged that the two current District applications are “…consistent with the history of approvals on the Property for non-farm uses,” but “…not consistent with its [ALC sic] purpose to preserve agricultural land or encourage farming on agricultural land…”. Given the history of previous approvals for non-farm use, the Executive Committee decision also states that “consideration may be given for the submission of a new application for exclusion”.
Geoff Orr, Mayor, North Saanich