A map of the Sandown lands. (Courtesy of District of North Saanich)

North Saanich extends search for Sandown operator after only one credible proposal

District extends deadline for operator bids to Aug. 30 at 3 p.m.

North Saanich has extended the deadline for bids to become Sandown’s long-term operator after only receiving one proposal they consider viable.

The District released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) earlier this year, but the deadline passed with only two bids submitted. It has now been forced to extend the deadline to Aug. 30 at 3 p.m..

ALSO READ: Bumper crops of corn, garlic and berries on Peninsula farms

The options currently on the table are finding a long-term operator, developing a Foodlands Trust with the Capital Regional District or just selling the property.

Sandown has long been a sore point, with some farmers complaining of a lack of vision and clarity throughout the process to decide what to do with the land. Perhaps reflecting the contentious nature of the subject, no District staff member would speak on the record, with a statement coming from the District’s communications office. It says the goal of the RFEI process is to “find out who the interested parties are for the long-term operation of Sandown, and what concepts and ideas they have.”

ALSO READ: Seeds of dissent growing on Peninsula farms

The District says it is open-minded about the possible uses of Sandown and could support a variety of agricultural activities.

“The zoning on the land allows agricultural and farm uses, including related exhibition, research and equestrian facilities,” says the statement. “All activities must be compliant with Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) regulations and some uses may require additional ALC approvals.”

North Saanich acknowledges the Sandown initiative has been a complex process, completed over several phases. It is currently at a stage where a company is conducting short-term maintenance in preparation for a long-term operator.

ALSO READ: Green fingers needed to help grow veggies on Newman Farm

The next step is for District staff to bring a report to the Aug. 19 council meeting, which will asks councillors to discuss, amend and approve the criteria for assessment of the various options for Sandown. In their latest report, it is mentioned that a possibility is to reject unsuitable bids, extend the deadline further and direct staff to keep maintaining the site.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Farming

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ocean Boulevard could open after Labour Day

Colwood council expected to discuss options later this month

Sidney can ‘only educate and encourage’ people to social distance

CAO says municipality lacks legislative authority to enforce social distancing in public

View Royal fire chief calls for realistic solutions to ‘mess’ at Thetis Lake

Emergency crews harassed while extinguishing brush fire, rescuing drunk 15-year-old during long weekend calls

Greater Victoria woman goes on gratitude mission to thank first responders

Jen Klein fainted while driving and crashed on Pat Bay Highway in 2019

B.C. records 146 new COVID-19 cases through long weekend

More that 28 people tested positive for the virus each day since Friday

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

COVID-19 vaccine efforts provide hope but no silver bullet to stop pandemic: Tam

There are more than two dozen vaccines for COVID-19 in clinical trials around the world

Two people die in propane heated outdoor shower near Princeton

Couple was attending a long weekend gathering

Racism in B.C. healthcare: Deadline for First Nations survey coming up on Aug. 6

Survey comes after hospital staff allegedly played a blood alcohol guessing game

‘We want to help’: As overdose deaths spike, beds lay empty at long-term Surrey rehab centre

John Volken Academy searching for ‘students’ to enlist in two-year residential treatment program

Study shines light on what makes LGBTQ+ youth feel safe in a community

The study goes beyond looking at school or family supports

Most Read