Central Saanich council rejected applications to the Agricultural Land Commission from four property owners on Meadowbank Road.
The land owners were making a request to subdivide portions of their land because they had to give up some of their properties to B.C. Hydro to accommodate a section of the new 2.4 km transmission line.
District staff did not recommend the subdivision based on policy in the Official Community Plan that indicates minimum lot size.
Council was prepared to support the subdivision under the stipulation that the properties consolidated and that the owners register restrictive covenants on title.
After council’s support, one of the original five property owners pulled out of the deal and BC Hydro submitted four ALC applications on behalf of four property owners.
In the deal, BC Hydro would have acquired approximately one acre from the southern portion of each lot. The property owners were hoping the divestiture of the easements would help increase their property values, which were reported to be decreased by 12 per cent due to the hydro right-of-way.
Commenting on council’s decision, councillor Terry Siklenka said: “We see a potential loss of farm land with this. At this point there’s no consolidation of farmland. We can’t grab it back after it’s gone.”