A map of the Sandown lands. (Courtesy of District of North Saanich)

A map of the Sandown lands. (Courtesy of District of North Saanich)

North Saanich extends search for Sandown operator after only one credible proposal

District extends deadline for operator bids to Aug. 30 at 3 p.m.

North Saanich has extended the deadline for bids to become Sandown’s long-term operator after only receiving one proposal they consider viable.

The District released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) earlier this year, but the deadline passed with only two bids submitted. It has now been forced to extend the deadline to Aug. 30 at 3 p.m..

ALSO READ: Bumper crops of corn, garlic and berries on Peninsula farms

The options currently on the table are finding a long-term operator, developing a Foodlands Trust with the Capital Regional District or just selling the property.

Sandown has long been a sore point, with some farmers complaining of a lack of vision and clarity throughout the process to decide what to do with the land. Perhaps reflecting the contentious nature of the subject, no District staff member would speak on the record, with a statement coming from the District’s communications office. It says the goal of the RFEI process is to “find out who the interested parties are for the long-term operation of Sandown, and what concepts and ideas they have.”

ALSO READ: Seeds of dissent growing on Peninsula farms

The District says it is open-minded about the possible uses of Sandown and could support a variety of agricultural activities.

“The zoning on the land allows agricultural and farm uses, including related exhibition, research and equestrian facilities,” says the statement. “All activities must be compliant with Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) regulations and some uses may require additional ALC approvals.”

North Saanich acknowledges the Sandown initiative has been a complex process, completed over several phases. It is currently at a stage where a company is conducting short-term maintenance in preparation for a long-term operator.

ALSO READ: Green fingers needed to help grow veggies on Newman Farm

The next step is for District staff to bring a report to the Aug. 19 council meeting, which will asks councillors to discuss, amend and approve the criteria for assessment of the various options for Sandown. In their latest report, it is mentioned that a possibility is to reject unsuitable bids, extend the deadline further and direct staff to keep maintaining the site.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Farming

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Rachna Singh, MLA for Surrey-Green Timbers, is the Parliamentary Secretary for Anti-Racism Initiatives. (Photo courtesy of flickr.com/photos/bcgovphotos)
Traffic waits at the intersection of Highway 17 and Beacon Avenue. A study found failing levels of service at the intersection of Highway 17 and Sidney’s Beacon Avenue for multiple movements during morning peak traffic and for all left-moving traffic during afternoon peak traffic. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Province supports potential interim improvements to Sidney intersection

Province says interchange is the long-term plan for intersection of Beacon Avenue and Highway 17

A micro brewery is being eyed for Jordan River. However, the site where the brewery is proposed still needs to go through the rezoning process. (Black Press Media file)
Micro brewery proposed for Jordan River

Jordan River Brewing Company envisions to build wholesale, sit-in brewery along Highway 14

Oak Bay local Lachlan Kratz (red, middle) has signed with pro rugby team NOLO Gold in Louisiana. (Contributed photo)
Oak Bay local signs with pro rugby team

Lachlan Kratz at 21 is now NOLO Gold’s youngest member

Vancouver resident Beryl Pye was witness to a “concerning,” spontaneous dance party that spread throughout social groups at Kitsilano Beach on April 16. (Screen grab/Beryl Pye)
VIDEO: Dance party erupts at Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach to the dismay of onlookers

‘It was a complete disregard for current COVID-19 public health orders,’ says Vancouver resident Beryl Pye

Russ Ball (left) and some of the team show off the specimen after they were able to remove it Friday. Photo supplied
Courtenay fossil hunter finds ancient turtle on local river

The specimen will now make its home at the Royal BC Museum

Pall Bearers carrying the coffin of the Duke of Edinburgh, followed by the Prince of Wales, left and Princess Anne, right, into St George’s Chapel for his funeral, at Windsor Castle, in Windsor, England, Saturday April 17, 2021. (Danny Lawson/Pool via AP)
Trudeau announces $200K donation to Duke of Edinburgh award as Prince Philip laid to rest

A tribute to the late prince’s ‘remarkable life and his selfless service,’ the Prime Minister said Saturday

B.C. homeowners are being urged to take steps to prepare for the possibility of a flood by moving equipment and other assets to higher ground. (J.R. Rardon)
‘Entire province faces risk’: B.C. citizens urged to prepare for above-average spring flooding

Larger-than-normal melting snowpack poses a threat to the province as warmer weather touches down

Vancouver-based Doubleview Gold Corp. is developing claims in an area north of Telegraph Creek that occupies an important place in Tahltan oral histories, said Chad Norman Day, president of the Tahltan Central Government. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO)
B.C. Indigenous nation opposes mineral exploration in culturally sensitive area

There’s “no way” the Tahltan would ever support a mine there, says Chad Norman Day, president of its central government

Stz’uminus Elder George Harris, Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, and Stz’uminus Chief Roxanne Harris opened the ceremony. (Cole Schisler photo)
Symbolic red dresses rehung along B.C. highway after vandals tore them down

Leaders from Stz’uminus First Nation and the Town of Ladysmith hung new dresses on Sat. April 17

A Western toadlet crosses the centre line of Elk View Road in Chilliwack on Aug. 26, 2010. A tunnel underneath the road has since been installed to help them migrate cross the road. Saturday, April 24 is Save the Frogs Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Progress File)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of April 18 to 24

Save the Frogs Day, Love Your Thighs Day and Scream Day are all coming up this week

The Attorney General’s Ministry says certain disputes may now be resolved through either a tribunal or the court system, pending its appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court decision that reduced the tribunal’s jurisdiction. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Court of Appeal grants partial stay in ruling on B.C. auto injuries

B.C. trial lawyers challenged legislation brought in to cap minor injury awards and move smaller court disputes to the Civil Resolution Tribunal

A vial of some of the first 500,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada secured. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Canada’s 2nd blood clot confirmed in Alberta after AstraZeneca vaccine

The male patient, who is in his 60s, is said to be recovering

Most Read