North Saanich Council Approves Sandown Reclamation and Drainage Plan
NORTH SAANICH. BC - At its regular Monday meeting on October 16, 2017, North Saanich Council gave final approval to the Sandown Reclamation and Drainage Plan (the Plan), prepared by Madrone Environmental Services Ltd. This was one of the main conditions required by the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) for its approval of the Sandown Project.
The Plan disclosed the fact that District stormwater runoff was accumulating on the Sandown lands from adjacent District land. Until the final analysis and detailed engineering work was done for the Plan it was not realized that when the District downstream storm system is overwhelmed, the water in the municipal drain rises and eventually floods the Sandown property up to the western extremity of the old race track.
The information was unexpected, only becoming known to District staff during their review of the drainage plan and only finalized at the end of September. Following initial consideration of this information at its regular meeting on October 16th, Council called a special Council meeting for Thursday, October 19, 2017, for additional time to consider all aspects. At this special meeting, Council approved funding of $569,000 from District infrastructure reserves, necessary to address management of stormwater flowing from District lands onto the Sandown property.
Council was advised as to possible liability and consequences to the District for failing to address its responsibility for flooding of adjacent lands and decided to fund some storm water management improvements on the lands which the District will receive from the owners of Sandown. This investment looks after our legal responsibilities and enables the District to defer additional improvements for the drainage area to a later date.
Council’s final approval was based on careful consideration of the detailed information requested, and balancing of these and other factors such as: the owner taking responsibility for the high cost of demolition of the extensive derelict structures on the land, as well as any increase in cost for this District stormwater remediation, the 83 acre amenity in agricultural land to be received by the District, significant prospective economic benefits, and many years of consultation and work.
Mayor Finall indicated her appreciation to Council for its thorough review of the extensive information leading to its decision and to District staff for its comprehensive efforts in assembling and assessing the material.