A house is missing from Claude Road in Langford. And as crews worked to demolish the house July 15, some neighbours spontaneously applauded.
The property, located at 2765 Claude Rd. is owned by the City of Langford and has been for quite a while, with a tenant occupying the house. Behind the lot is Danbrook Park, a previously well-hidden green space at the dead-end of Danbrook Avenue that has hosted unsavoury activities in the past.
“We had always planned on making an expansion (of the park),” said Jane Waters, Langford park planner.
The property will be turned into a parking lot, with work expected to be completed in time for the Crown Victoria Show and Shine on Aug. 15 on Bryn Maur Road, and the Langford Car Show on Aug. 16, which closes down a nearby section of Goldstream Avenue for much of Sunday.
Waters said despite being the site of some illegal activity in past, Danbrook Park is a popular destination for area residents. The removal of the house and creation of the parking lot will help increase sight lines into the park, she said, and make it more difficult for people to hide their activities.
“It was a bad park years ago,” said Langford Coun. Lanny Seaton, who chairs the city’s parks, recreation, culture and beautification committee. “It hadn’t been upgraded in quite a while.”
He said a number of neighbours had called to complain about things like drug use in the park.
So, after a few conversations with West Shore RCMP, a plan was formulated to revitalize the park and make it more appealing for residents.
Waters noted that new lighting, signage, benches, pathways and fencing have already been installed, and shrubs removed to open the park up and help make it more inviting.
Danbrook Park is also part of a new initiative by the City to make more parks dog friendly, and will be advertised as an off-leash dog park. Besides making the park fully fenced, the City has also added a dog waste bag dispenser.
“There’s no place for people in the (Langford) core to take their dogs,” Seaton said emphatically, pointing out the importance of this project. Many nearby condo residents own dogs, he added, but their options have been very limited in the area, given that dogs off leash are banned on land owned by the Sooke School District.