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Posts tagged ‘Jordan River’

New Sombrio Bridge is Now Open – Watch Its Construction [Video]

Image Courtesy of Ministry of Transport

In 2009 the Provincial Ministry of Transport announced an improvement project on Highway 14 between Jordan River and Port Renfrew. Since then, there has been about 22 km of new roads, bridges, and other improvements on the Pacific Marine Circle Route. The Route, which allows motorists to travel between Sooke, Port Renfrew, Lake Cowichan, Duncan, and Victoria in either direction, is a major driver of tourism and local economic growth. It is one of the reasons Port Renfrew is quickly developing as a getaway destination similar to other West Coast ports like Tofino and Ucluelet. Read more

Sooke Parks in Profile: China Beach (Juan De Fuca Provincial Park)

At low tide there is plenty of sand to play on.

It’s been way too long since I posted about parks in Sooke. My wife’s sister is in town for a few day and we took advantage of the great weather we’ve been having lately for an excursion out to China Beach. Located at the trailhead of the Juan de Fuca Marine Trail just a few kilometres west of Jordan River, China beach is a bit of a hike from the parking lot, but is well worth it! Read more

CRD Agrees To Buy Sandcut Beach, Jordan River, Sooke Potholes Lands from WFP

Photo credit: sometimes_anna on Flickr

The Capital Regional District (CRD), along with non-profit The Land Conservancy (TLC) has agreed to buy up more than 2300 hectares (nearly 5700 acres) of land that was slated to go up for sale today. The land, belonging to Western Forest Products (WFP) has been the subject of much controversy in our area since the provincial government allowed WFP to remove its private lands from a tree-farm license (TFL) in 2007.

The lands being purchased include Sandcut Beach, the Jordan River surfing beach and townsite, and lands surrounding the Sooke River near Sooke Potholes Park.

While some of the land on the interior side of the highway may be sold off to help finance this purchase, most of it will be dedicated as park. One exciting feature of this deal is that the land acquired near the Potholes completes the Sea-to-Sea Green-Blue Belt, which, besides having the distinction of being the most awkwardly-named park reserve/network on the Island, will now stretch all the way from the Sooke Basin to Saanich Inlet.

The land deal is worth nearly $19 million, most of which is coming from the CRD’s parkland acquisition fund, and will be paid over 3 years. The rest of the money will come from TLC, and hopefully, the provincial government, who have been under fire since the land was released from the TFL three years ago. Many see it as an opportunity for the province to right a wrong that caused great controversy.

And speaking of the parkland acquisition fund… this is part of your yearly property taxes. Since it was established in 2000, it has been $10 per household per year, which has been well used in my opinion, protecting  nearly 3000 hectares of land at a value of nearly $31 million. Your contribution to the fund will be going up this year by $2, and will eventually rise to $20 per year, allowing the CRD to purchase lands such as the Jordan River WFP parcels for everyone’s use and enjoyment, forever. I’d happily pay $50 or even $100 per year to pad this fund and enable the special areas in our region to be protected. It’s a great example of taxpayer money going into something we all benefit from.

The deal is still tentative, but is slated to close in August. I’m looking forward to the CRD’s plan and longterm vision for these newly acquired lands.

What’s your take on this announcement? Good, bad, otherwise? State your opinion, but be nice to one another!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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BC Election: Sooke All Candidates Meeting – May 4th, 2009

bc-flag

I received an e-mail from BC Liberal candidate Jody Twa‘s campaign office informing me of an all candidate’s meeting here in Sooke. The meeting will take place at Edward Milne Community School on Monday, May 4th, at 7:00pm.

The panel will consist of Jody Twa of the BC Liberals, John Horgan (incumbent) of the BC NDP, and James Powell of the Green Party of BC. The moderator will be local Sooke lawyer Peter Faulkner.

Jody Twa, James Powell, and John Horgan

Jody Twa, James Powell, and John Horgan

I’d encourage all Sooke residents to attend and hear what the candidates have in mind for our region. The Juan de Fuca riding is very diverse, stretching from the urban centres of Langford and Colwood all the way out to the sparsely populated areas of Port Renfrew and Jordan River (map). The needs of our residents are as diverse as their communities, and you should be asking the candidates what their plans and vision are locally if they are lucky enough to be elected, instead of giving too much thought to the spectacle that is the leaders’ campaign provincially.

In my view, the party vs party, leader vs leader portion of the campaign has thus far been an unmitigated disaster. It’s been a boring, childish, name-calling affair, with no real issues. Both major parties seem more content to sling mud and dig up dirt on each other’s candidates on Facebook and the Provincial Court Registry than talk about real issues. It’s painful and it doesn’t do us, the electorate, any good.

Hopefully, voters will get involved at the local level and give their candidates some issues to take to Victoria. This is the way our system is supposed to work – regional representatives actually representing their constituents instead of spewing party gibberish.

How do Juan De Fuca constituents feel about the campaign? Care to share who you’ll be supporting? Both Langford and Sooke mayors have endorsed Jody Twa – do you agree?

What about BC-STV? Do you think this is a solution to our voting system’s flaws?

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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Ilkay Completes Purchase of Ex-TFL Land Near Jordan River

The Public Campsite At Jordan River, BC

The Public Campsite At Jordan River, BC

The Times Colonist reports that Vancouver-based developer Ender Ilkay has completed part of his desired purchase of ex-Western Forest Products tree farm license land near Jordan River. The parcel that Ilkay has bought is relatively small in relation to the entire 2500 hectares (nearly 6200 acres) that he has an option to purchase. At 250 hectares (nearly 620 acres), the purchase cost him $3 million and change, according to the report.

Interestingly, this particular parcel was not subject to the knee-jerk Capital Regional District down-zoning of private land to prevent Ilkay from developing around Jordan River. The purchased lands were already zoned with a minimum lot size of 120 hectares (nearly 300 acres).

Cleary, Ilkay loves the property and sees a potential future in it. He is land banking. In the future, as growth increases and the community mindset changes, Ilkay may be able to either sell off or develop the land to profit from it.

Smart move in my view, beats the stock market lately!

It will be interesting to see what happens with the court cases launched by Western Forest Products and the Association of BC Land Owners seeking to strike down the down-zoning by the CRD. It won’t affect his newly-purchased lands, but Ilkay may excercise his option to purchase the remaining land if the zoning is repealed.

If you have any questions about vacant land in the CRD or Sooke, or are thinking of selling your property, fill in my contact form or call me at 250-885-0512

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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