The solid blue line signifies where the proposed new border between Langford and Metchosin would be redrawn. In exchange

Three-way land proposal could see Metchosin-Langford boundary change

Nearly 400 acres earmarked for business park development in deal that includes Beecher Bay First Nation

Hundreds of acres are on the table to potentially change hands in what local municipal and First Nations politicians are calling a historic land deal.

Beecher Bay Chief Russ Chipps, along with Langford Mayor Stew Young and Metchosin Mayor John Ranns, announced Monday that a proposed land agreement would see the Beecher Bay First Nation exchange Treaty lands for a share of development land in Langford.

“I don’t think it’s ever been done before; it’s pretty extraordinary,” Ranns said. “This is the biggest thing we’ve ever done in Metchosin.”

Ultimately, 250 acres of Treaty lands within Metchosin would be preserved as green space in perpetuity and in return, Metchosin will shrink its northern boundary with Langford by 380 acres to allow for the creation of a new business park development.

This exchange will require a municipal boundary change and still requires public consultation and various levels of government approvals.

“This is just the very beginning of the public process,” Ranns said, adding that a mailout explaining the proposal is expected to arrive at Metchosin homes this week. “I just hope the rest of the community realizes this is essential to our vision.”

The business park is touted to create as many as 4,000 permanent jobs and the Beecher Bay First Nation would own a third of the site. They would also enter into a tax sharing agreement relating to the business park development with Langford and Metchosin.

“This partnership promises to bring prosperity to the Beecher Bay people while also protecting valuable green space for generations,” Chipps said in a release. “This is another step on our journey toward economic independence.”

Young also noted in the release that the proposed business park will be an expanded version of one already being considered by the City of Langford.

“This is a historic agreement between municipalities and a First Nation, creating family supporting jobs for our region,” he said. “Having high-paying jobs in the community where you live is important to everyone in Langford, Metchosin and Beecher Bay.”

As for the land that could potentially be part of Langford one day, Ranns said, “this is strictly vacant land in a very remote corner … Most people don’t even realize it’s Metchosin.”

While there is substantial benefit to the three partners, he said, there is also significant benefit to the greater region as a whole. Ranns noted that it also shows a rural municipality can do its part to contribute to the overall economic health of the region.

“This has haunted me for years on how we would achieve this,” he said. “How do we save Metchosin and get the Band the economic development they need? This is the best I could come up with to solve that and I hope the residents see that.”

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

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