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LETTER: Sale contingent on development approval

I am writing to you in response to comments made by Vanessa Hammond in connection with the requested rezoning by Aragon Properties Ltd. in the Cook Street Village. While I am sympathetic to Ms. Hammond, I believe all the facts of this case are not being made clear.

The facts are that Aragon applied to construct a four-storey building that would house 58 residential condos plus commercial units. The construction related to commercial property on the corner of Cook Street and Pendergast along with three adjacent houses on Pendergast.

Completely unrelated to the development proposal referred to above, Aragon also owns a small commercial condo unit next door at 380 Cook St. where the Cook Street Activity Centre is located. As part of Aragon’s application for its development proposal, Aragon offered to sell the next door commercial condo to the City of Victoria at 80 per cent of its market value. The price for Victoria to acquire the commercial condo at 380 Cook St. was, I believe, $417,000. Since the sale of the condo next door was conditional on city council approving the development proposal, the sale collapsed with the defeat of that proposal.

While I am sympathetic to Ms. Hammond’s desire for additional health-care facilities, the approval of the development proposal would have been too great a price to pay for acquiring this small commercial condo unit behind the Cook Street Activity Centre. In my view, city council made the correct decision in refusing the application on the merits of the development proposal.

William B. Maddaford

Victoria