Sherry Baird stands at the fork where a BC Hydro access road splits from a trail at the end of Heddle Avenue. A handful of residents want to buy the road

View Royal resident takes on town hall over laneway

Sherry Baird feels like she’s battling Goliath as she tries to keep a laneway access to her View Royal home.

  • Jun. 16, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Sherry Baird feels like she’s battling Goliath as she tries to keep a laneway access to her View Royal home.

An unpaved strip of land separates her Prince Robert Drive backyard from property on Island Highway that the Town bought for its future fire hall.

Accessible from Heddle Drive, the lane dead-ends behind Baird’s property where her husband parks a commercial truck for his construction business.

Officially it’s BC Hydro right-of-way land, though a handful of neighbours want to buy it and establish a private road. But the Town has the right of first refusal to purchase the property.

Mayor Graham Hill confirmed the Town is negotiating with Hydro to buy the land. He was tight lipped about future plans for the property.

“This is a work in progress, and it wouldn’t be proper for me to speculate what will or won’t be done there,” Hill said.

He did say he couldn’t guarantee the road access would be maintained.

Baird is afraid the strip will be lumped into the firehall property or designated as a park — closing out vehicle access in both scenarios.

“They’re already building a fire hall in our backyard, and they have to take this from us too?” Baird lamented.

She has a petition ready to present at the June 21 council meeting with signatures of property owners opposed to the Town buying the land. The petition also opposes a proposed bylaw to change the designation of municipal property at the north end of Heddle Avenue, where a walking trail connects to the Island Highway, from a road right-of-way to a park. The park’s boundary would extend just far enough to block the access road.

Baird says the petition is just the beginning. She plans to take the Town to court if she’s prevented from using the lane.

“It’s become my personal crusade,” she said, opening a filing box with three years of correspondence with the town, neighbours and other stakeholders about the lane. “If they think I’ll give up fighting this, I won’t. I’ll keep at this until our access is guaranteed.”

Hill said the Town needs to act in the best interest of all its residents and fears turning the lane over to private buyers could cause trouble down the road.

“We don’t want to set a precedent of that sort,” Hill said.



Just Posted

Victoria shatters its oldest temperature record

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Rickter Scale: Brother Gary strikes again

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column

Jake ‘The Snake’ Roberts visits Victoria for Comic Con

He says he’s looking forward to the event, but don’t ask him where the snake is

UPDATED: Missing Victoria man found dead in Port Renfrew

Police continuing investigation, death not considered suspicious

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of March 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

View Royal council to discuss proposed 3.5% tax increase tonight

Budget open house to directly precede the council meeting

B.C. sees fourth straight day of record-breaking warmth

Bob Marley said it best: The sun is shining and the weather is sweet

UPDATE: Two avalanches confirmed at Okanagan ski resort, one in hospital

A man has been sent to hospital after an isothermal avalanche at SilverStar March 20

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Most Read