West Shore news through the decades, week of Dec. 16

Here's the stories that made headlines in the Gazette 10, 20 and 30 years back

2006

Lagoon Estates, a hotly-contested $350-million project overlooking Esquimalt Lagoon, is one step away from receiving a development permit, after Colwood’s planning and zoning committee gives the project a unanimous green light, albeit with 22 conditions.

The latest configuration of the project calls for 563 units spread through 28 buildings, including 14 townhouses, low-rise apartments and three 12-storey towers.

Also making news the week of Dec. 16, 2006:

The sky’s the limit in Colwood as Bear Mountain developer Les Bjola outlines his vision for Colwood Corners. The plans include a hotel, commercial space, three towers reaching up to 29 storeys and three low-rise residential condo blocks.

Bjola is seeking to have the land rezoned and the official community plan updated to allow the development to include high-rise buildings. Coun. Jason Nault opposes radically changing the OCP without public consultation, calling it “an OCP on steroids.”

1996

A Las Vegas-style casino would be good for the Western Communities, according to Malahat-Juan de Fuca MLA Rick Kasper. He believes it would be best to keep the money that many spend heading south to gamble, in the West Shore’s own backyard. But Langford Mayor Stew Young isn’t so sure, saying it would need to be looked at closely. The Beecher Bay First Nation has proposed a casino for their reserve on the Metchosin waterfront, but there has been little word in how that project is developing, not to mention that it has been met with criticism by Metchosin council.

Also making news the week of Dec. 16, 1996:

Trouble has come in threes for Esquimalt-Metchosin MLA Moe Sihota, who resigns from cabinet after it was revealed he made phone calls to the Motor Carrier Commission related to a limousine license application made by Herb Dhaliwal, a friend and Liberal MP. The week before, Sihota got in trouble when the BC Liberals accused him of breaching conflict-of-interest guidelines by appointing Dhaliwal to the BC Hydro board in 1992.

Three weeks ago, Sihota, then the New Democratic Party’s education minister, came under fire in the media when it was discovered that his daughter attends a private school.

1986

Charges of closed-door meetings and unfair treatment ripple around Colwood council following the announcement of new committee chairmanships at the inaugural meeting. Ald. Ed Bradford, who was given the finance, parks and tourism committees to chair, said decisions “appear to have been made in conjunction with other aldermen in closed-door meetings.” He said even the press were informed of the committee chair postings prior to aldermen, adding, “That lack of communication is no way to run a council.”

Also making news the week of Dec. 16, 1986:

The Capital Regional District reaches a dead end in its efforts to preserve 600 hectares in Langford’s Highlands as parkland. The CRD has run out of ways to limit development of the land owned by Western ARP Services and Block Brothers, following a lost appeal. The regional district was looking to overturn a 1983 court decision which dismissed a subdivision bylaw the region had instituted. That bylaw was introduced when the two partner developers refused to honour a written promise made by the previous owners to turn over 600 of their 1,000 hectares as green space.

– Compiled by Joel Tansey

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