The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board accepted an offer from BC Hydro to acquire lands and rights on lands affected by a potential flood inundation area at Jordan River for $3.13 million. The CRD is retaining the oceanfront lands within the inundation zone and south of the West Coast Road, including the campground and beach used by surfers. A covenant will be placed on these waterfront lands to restrict residential development, but camping will continue to be permitted.
In addition, BC Hydro has contributed funds for an early warning alarm system and will help cover the costs of transferring the land. BC Hydro will also give local First Nations the opportunity to acquire these lands.
“The acquisition of these lands and rights helps to address public safety concerns in a region where the seismic risk is much greater than previously understood,” said Chris O’Riley, Deputy CEO, BC Hydro.
“This is seen as a prudent sale that benefits the residents of the region. Retaining the oceanfront lands allows the CRD to continue to provide overnight camping and ensures easy access to the water for beach users and surfers,” said CRD Board Chair Barbara Desjardins. “The funds from the land sale will go to the CRD Regional Parks Service.”
The CRD initially agreed to purchase 180 hectares of land in Jordan River to create a regional park in 2010. The park boundary has not yet been finalized due to the planned disposition of surplus lands. However, this transaction is consistent with the vision for the Regional Park and ensures the primary public interests will be held for future generations to enjoy.
“This has been a long process but at the end of the day, in my view, BC Hydro has fairly compensated the CRD for these lands and rights, “ said Mike Hicks, Juan de Fuca Regional Director and CRD Park’s Chair. “A special thank you to Minister Bill Bennett, MLA John Horgan and BC Hydro President Jessica McDonald for their assistance.”