It’s not a question of how many homes are built, but the impact they have on the forest that surrounds them.
That’s the focus of the Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin’s opposition to a controversial subdivision proposed on a 40-acre forested parcel of land on 98 acres owned by the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria.
Under the rural zoning specific to that parcel, the property could be zoned into eight lots of five acres each, explained Jay Shukin, president of the Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin. The remainder of the land closest to Metchosin Road, which is zoned industrial, lies within the Agricultural Land Reserve.
“Whatever the number of homes, they will diminish or ruin the natural values of the land,” Shukin said.
The property in question contains an extensive trail system, most of the larger property’s forests and a pond big enough for canoeing, he noted. “The loss of this property would be a loss for the environment and would directly and adversely affect the outdoor programs the club offers youth.”
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria has declined to comment and referred all inquiries to Devencore, a commercial real estate firm. Lewis Griffin, a spokesperson for Devencore, said in an email to the Gazette that there would be no comment until the subdivision application and process is complete.
The subdivision has drawn criticism from Metchosin Mayor John Ranns, who said the district’s understanding is that the land, which has been used as a camp and for youth nature programs since 1984 would remain as is after the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria purchased it in 2004 for $1.6 million.