If you haven’t driven down Veterans Memorial Parkway recently, you may not have noticed the big “for sale” signs that have sprouted up just south of Sooke Road.
Four properties are on the market in the area known as Allandale Pit. They range in size from 2.22 to 6.38 acres and are priced from $3.86 million to $9.22 million.
While the overgrown rocky soil is a popular spot for West Shore residents to walk their dogs and partake in recreational activities, the majority of the area is privately owned.
“It’s primarily the Ridley family that owns that area,” said Colwood Mayor Carol Hamilton. “At one time a developer had been trying to work a deal with a food store for that location, but it never gained any traction.”
The mayor isn’t sure where the properties sit on potential developers’ radar and isn’t aware of City staff being approached about the area. “Nobody’s heard anything,” she said.
The Ridley family and their realtor could not be reached for comment at the time of the Gazette’s press deadline.
In Colwood’s planning and development guide, the Allandale Pit area is listed as a mixed-use employment centre and an intended growth area. It is zoned as a general industrial area.
While the City’s Official Community Plan spells out a pedestrian friendly strategy for development on the site that includes a mix of business and residential, Hamilton noted that could change.
“We are going to be heading into an OCP review.” That review could get underway as early as this summer.
While Hamilton said the City conducts regular reviews of the OCP, which was prepared in 2008 by the Holland Barrs Planning Group with staff from Colwood and Langford, this one will be quite extensive and gives the City the opportunity to re-evaluate the potential uses of a number of properties. “It keeps us able to keep an open mind,” she added.
As for the old OCP, Hamilton said, “that’ll be the basis we have our discussion around.”
While the future of Allandale Pit is still uncertain, Hamilton said she could see a business park going in, as there isn’t much surrounding development and it is close to Veterans Memorial Parkway and Sooke Road.
As for the gravel road currently running through the pit that acts as an access to infrastructure in the area, she said “there’s opportunity to make a few connectors there,” adding that pedestrians and cyclists already use it.