Colwood’s Royal Bay neighbourhood could one day be home to a new long-term care facility.
On Wednesday, the Capital Regional Hospital District (CRHD) board approved spending more than $8 million to purchase five acres of vacant land on Metchosin Road south of Latoria Boulevard to build a health-related facility.
The CRHD was waiting for Island Health to indicate support for funding the project before proceeding with the purchase. The health authority provided a letter of support for exploring a partnership with CRHD that would see the latter purchase and own the land and charge a nominal lease rate for it. Island Health would finance and build the facility and ultimately own and operate it.
The combined total appraised value of the five acres is $9.82 million and a deposit of $1.6 million is payable on April 16.
The rezoning needed to operate a health-related facility on the site has been completed by the City of Colwood. Restrictive covenants on the property require that it only be used to house a public or private designated health facility or similar uses, and any reasonable ancillary use.
Island Health securing funding for such a project requires first submitting a business plan to the Ministry of Health, then having it approved by the provincial Treasury Board.
During discussion at the CRHD board meeting, director Ben Isitt, also a Victoria councillor, questioned staff about the location, noting it is underserved currently by transit and tends to be more auto-centric.
Colwood alternate director and councillor Doug Kobayashi explained that the full buildout of Royal Bay will be about 6,800 doors, all of which are within a 4.5-kilometre radius of 90 per cent of that city. While he agreed with Isitt’s comment about it currently being auto-centric, he said improved service to the area is in BC Transit’s future plans.
Board members heard that if the funding doesn’t come through for Island Health to build a project, the option exists for the vendor to buy back the property five years after the closing of the deal at the selling price or the assessed value of the day, whichever is greater.
Island Health plans to present its business case for a long-term care project to the ministry later this spring.