A petition has been launched to pump the brakes on the handyDART bus facility planned for View Royal.
“I’m not a NIMBY [not in my backyard] type of person, but I’m trying to defend my backyard,” said Angela Hanes, the woman who started the petition.
Hanes lives nearby Craigflower Creek, the area where BC Transit plans to build a fleet maintenance facility for around 110 handyDART buses, which is double the number of its current fleet.
As a member of the Amalgamated Conservation Society, a group that serves fresh water and salt water anglers, she’s concerned about the environmental implications. Craigflower Creek is a salmon-bearing area and she says the densifying of these lands would seriously compromise the creek and the ability for wildlife to thrive.
Her petition has received over 1,000 signatures since its launch last week.
View Royal Mayor David Screech says that while he isn’t happy about the handyDART’s location, he’s willing to work with BC Transit to make sure they can come to a mutual agreement.
“They’ve clearly decided that it’s the right spot because it’s dead centre in the region,” Screech said. “Now our job is to work with them to make sure it’s the best it can be.”
At the March 3 council meeting, View Royal will present their memorandum of understanding with BC Transit on their agreements, which will include environmental expectations.
The facility will take up around one-third of the property, with chances for the unused portion of the space to have added sidewalks, landscaping, and environmental restoration.
While this will be the first BC Transit centre in British Columbia built to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standard, Hanes isn’t buying it.
“Their idea of mitigation is pathetic,” said Hanes. “It breaks my heart and it keeps me up at night. It doesn’t seem like a big deal right now, but we wouldn’t be in this crisis if they [BC Transit] had been more mindful.”
She says she hasn’t been able to find a place yet where she would want to relocate the site to. The facility is expected to open in 2023.