Category Archives: Save Spaet Mountain

Financial woes land interchange project in limbo

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photo: Peter Rockwell

by Brennan Clarke, Globe and Mail

Bear Mountain Resort’s deepening financial woes have landed a developer-funded interchange on the Trans-Canada Highway in a permanent state of limbo, leaving Langford taxpayers with a $9.75-million debt and a half-finished “bridge to nowhere,” critics of the controversial project say.

“At this point I have to question whether any of these developers have any money to pay anybody,” said Langford resident Cheryl McLachlan, who helped organize an unofficial petition drive against the interchange two years ago.

“We had a large portion, over 10 per cent of citizens telling [Langford]) council they were concerned this could happen, and now here we are.”

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Bridge to Nowhere Awaits Recovery From Recession

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By Carla Wilson, Times Colonist

There is no more stark or obvious testament to the recession’s impact on the capital region than the unfinished Spencer Road highway interchange — dubbed the Bridge to Nowhere.

Thousands of motorists daily pass under the Langford monument, where work stopped last June amid the fallout of the global economic downturn that prompted many developers to delay or cancel construction projects.

Infrastructure work that was designed to open up the south side of Skirt Mountain for development by five property owners — including Bear Mountain — has been put on hold until the economy recovers enough for construction to again proceed.

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Skirt Mountain rezoning case heads to court

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Times Colonist

The B.C. Supreme Court will hear a petition for a judicial review of a South Skirt Mountain rezoning beginning Monday.

Members of the Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network are petitioning the court for a judicial review of a Langford bylaw that rezoned about 86 hectares of forest land for a 2,800-unit development on South Skirt Mountain.

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Langford Interchange payment “postponed” indefinitely

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Langford Interchange payment “postponed” indefinitely
by Zoe Blunt
A crucial piece of information regarding the Langford interchange funding controversy came to light Friday afternoon. Langford city staff confirmed Friday, September 4th that Len Barrie’s company, LGB9, has failed to repay $4.79 million, his share of the $9.8 million that the city borrowed on behalf of developers to build the Spencer Road interchange (formerly the Bear Mountain Interchange.)
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The Olympic Torch Relay and Bear Mtn Resort

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by Zoe Blunt, Forest Action Network
A Vancouver Island blog is reporting rumours that Bear Mountain Resort is in line to host part of the 2010 Olympic Torch relay this fall.

WTF Langford? cites “insider gossip” as the source of this news, noting that municipalities recently sent their proposals for Torch venues and routes to the Vancouver Olympic Organzing Committee (VANOC). An announcement is expected later this week, the blog says.
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Langford Planner Won’t Apologize for Legal Threats

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-by Zoe Blunt Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network
Last week, the BC Supreme Court upheld our right to criticize the government. But Langford officials apparently didn’t get the memo.
In February and March, newspapers and TV cameras showed Langford’s mayor berating local residents at a public hearing for the South Skirt Mountain mega-development. Now a city planner who threatened legal action against a critic of the same development refuses to apologize.
A letter from Langford planner Matthew Baldwin to Dr. Karen Wonders, a former BC resident now teaching at Gottingen University in Germany, questioned her intelligence, insulted three other people (also critics of Skirt Mountain development), and implied that the city should retaliate against Ms. Wonders for expressing her opinion. Baldwin copied the letter to the director of Dr. Wonder’s institute and the president of the university.
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Insanity Reigns in Langford

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bearmountainclearcut
This morning I read the news that Langford mayor Stew Young has decided to hold a second public hearing regarding plans for a huge development on the south side of Spaet mountain (aka South Skirt Mountain). The first public hearing was an absolute joke, and the Vancouver Island Community Forest Action Network (of which I am a director) immediately threatened legal action. Thanks to the hard work of VIC FAN spokesperson Zoe Blunt and residents of Langford, we won that small victory, but I have a feeling the next public hearing will also be a joke. It’ll still be chaired by Stew Young, who has no intention of being objective in this matter. Read the rest of this entry

Langford mayor tangles with citizens over Skirt Mountain development

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By Richard Watts, Victoria Times Colonist
Langford councillors took a big step toward final approval of an enormous new development Monday night following a hearing in which Mayor Stew Young berated citizens who raised objections.
It was a special meeting of Langford council to conduct a public hearing on a new comprehensive zoning for Skirt Mountain. The zoning would provide developers with the freedom to create a massive development of 2,800 living units on the slopes, east and adjacent to Goldstream Park.
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Orange sludge redux

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-Monday Magazine
The mysterious orange sludge seeping out from a rock-rubble wall below the 19th hole of Bear Mountain’s golf course is again oozing its way down a narrow canyon on the hill, staining rocks and killing plant life along the way.

Locals familiar with the site are still without explanation as to the nature of the sludge—given the disinterest from government or the environmental consulting firm whose flagging tape designates it a “riparian management zone” to study its contents. One possible—and plausible—explanation, given that water mixed with the ooze turns moss black and eventually strips it from the surfaces where it grows, is that herbicides used by the golf course grounds crew to control moss growth pours into the loose rock wall and spills out the bottom during the rainy season. Moss killer typically contains iron sulphate or iron phosphate, which would explain the orange colouration. Oil can also be seen in areas where the stream pools.
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South Skirt Mtn: Langford’s next disaster

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by Zoe Blunt
OMG, it’s another Bear Mountain!
Here’s my take on the “South Skirt Mountain Village” development, plus
details on the next public meeting and how to send your feedback to
City Hall.

Developers are planning 2819 residential units (mostly apartments and
condos) on the 84-acre site straddling the Bear Mountain Parkway over
the next fifteen years. The development spans the steep and rugged
south slope of Skirt Mountain from Florence Lake west to Goldstream
Provincial Park, and from Highway 1 all the way up to Bear Mountain
Resort on top of the mountain.
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